Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:18) commands that we should give thanks in all circumstances because it is what God’s will is for those who are in Christ Jesus.
As we enter into the month of August, we have so much to be thankful for at Good Shepherd and this month, I wanted to dedicate my column to expressing my personal thanks for those members who made three very special activities happen this summer.
First, I would like to express my gratitude to my wife Renee Graf and her entire team of adult volunteers who worked tirelessly to put on yet another incredibly successful Vacation Bible School at Good Shepherd. Good Shepherd’s VBS is one of those events that as each year passes, one wonders can this year come close to comparing to last year’s? Yet, every year, our VBS seems to flourish and even surpass the wonderful expectations and outcomes of previous years. I truly stand amazed at the way our adults come together for the week to serve, teach and disciple the youth of our church and community. So many people put so much effort into making VBS the success that it is, whether it’s the worship through music that Debbie Volk leads, the Bible classes that Heidi LaGarde teaches or the host of other activities ranging from kitchen duties to arts and crafts—they all come together to continue to be a first-rate week Christian Education experience for our youngsters because of the efforts of so many adults. Each and every volunteer, from those who worked one day to those who worked the entire week, are greatly appreciated and are in my prayers of thanksgiving!
A second summer program I wish to express my gratitude for also involves our youth. In the early part of July, Sheila Fussell, assisted by Lynn Brue, Claudia Ducote, Dottie Frilot, Trisha O’Conner, and Wendy Verbest, worked with a group of teenage girls to hold our first ever Summer Sewing Camp. This weeklong event is the outgrowth of our Sewing the Seeds of Love sewing ministry that was started earlier this year by Sheila Fussell and Joan Lyles. What a blessing to see these youngsters work so hard to develop and refine the craft of sewing so that their efforts can be used to the benefit of our larger community. One of the Sewing Camp projects included the creation of table runners and our camp participants recently raffled off one of their finished projects and earned over $100 doing so. They plan to take a portion of the money raised to invest in more supplies so that they can create more items that they can sell at the Women’s Guild Craft Fair in the fall. They also have plans to create prayer shawls and prayer blankets to be distributed to patients in care facilities and hospitals. I hope you will join me in lifting up our Sewing the Seeds of Love sewing ministry before the Lord with prayers of thanksgiving!
Finally, I want to shine the spotlight of gratitude on all of those who made our recent fish fry such a huge success. Under the leadership of Mel Aucoin, Clif Frilot, Stan MacDonald and Bob Volk, Good Shepherd held our first ever summer fish fry on Sunday, July 16 and raised over $1800 for the church’s general fund. These men, joined by an additional crew of workers including Margaret Aucoin, Megan Aucoin, Jean Barovechio, Breck Hotard, Thom Kolesa, Barry Triche, and Harry Wetzel are to be commended for their hard work and dedication which resulted in this event surpassing any preconceived notion of what success means. I hope you will join me in thanking them in person and thanking our Lord for their service.
Let me close with this question for you to ponder: In your daily walk with the Lord, are you remembering to find people and causes to lift up in prayers of thanksgiving? As Paul was sitting in a prison, he wrote this to a man named Philemon: “I always thank my God as I remember you in my prayers” (Philemon 1:4, NIV). May we do the same.