Thank You Notes

Thank You Notes

When I was in congregational ministry, I tried to write at least a couple thank-you notes every week. It didn’t always happen, but I found it to be a wonderful practice to take five minutes, shut my door and put pen to notecards, expressing to people why I am thankful for their presence, their work, their ministry…and then I had to learn a graceful response to people’s response of, “Thank you for the thank you note!” After several ways of trying to say – “No, thank you!”, I finally just settled on “you’re welcome”.

I have also been the recipient of thank you notes over the years. And there is power in a handwritten thank you note. When someone takes the time to put pen to paper and write about their gratitude for your actions, your presence, your ministry, that carries value far beyond the cost of the card and the postage.

We all want to be seen – to be truly seen and known and valued. I believe that is at the heart of all of the deep longings of our heart. Our churches can be places where we really see people – who they are at their core – with their gifts, and challenges, and failings, and say “you are beautiful in God’s eyes – God loves you – and we welcome you and your complete self.” To say that, and really mean it, means that we are open to being changed by other people. To truly accept someone for all that they are will open our eyes and hearts to a larger picture of the Body of Christ and the Reign of God, and isn’t that part of the joy of Christian community!?

For whom are you thankful this week? I encourage you to pick up a pen and paper and write that person a note. Naming the things for which you are thankful in others is one step on the way to deeper and more loving community.

Pr. Katy Grindberg
Assistant to the Bishop