By Dr. Terri Martinson Elton, Director of the Center for First Third Ministry at Luther Seminary
I am sitting on a plane, exhausted and with a full heart. You see I have spent the past week in the church and in the world, listening, playing, and being in conversation with people who have a heart for ministry and seeking to faithful participate in God’s mission in the world. Ministry is hard much of the time, but it is also rich. Moments this week, big and small, have caused me to pause and reflect. So, as I anticipate my arrival home, mindful of this Thanksgiving week, it seems only right to offer thanks.
Thanks to you who work on the front lines of ministry. Your ministry of hospitality, teaching, pastoral care, leading worship, etc. never ends. Yet having joined a few of you in this work this week, I have witnessed your faithfulness and desire to lead God’s people and I am grateful behind words. Thanks for your perseverance and ability to see God in the ordinary. #Alaskasynod #nywc
Thanks to leaders who are called to lead leaders and share their crazy passion for ministry with those in the first third of life. You push all of us to ask deep questions about God, the world, and our human journey. Such questions haunt you and keep you up at night. Thanks for sharing them with others and for the sacrifices you make. Keep pointing beyond. @MDKing @markmatlock @PaulBertelson @bishopshelley
Thanks teammates for joining together to work on a common endeavor. I am better in the midst of a team. Your gifts multiple as you willingly offer them up for the common good. Thanks for engaging in meaningful work in a particular location over a long period of time. @1stThird @LutherSem
And thanks to those who participate in and surround me in community. I see God in you, and you help me see God in myself and in so doing I come to believe in the extraordinary love of God. I cannot image abundant life without you. Thanks friends for letting me be imperfect and quirky. Thanks family for riding the roller coaster of life with me, accompanying both the high and the low times. @eltonfamily @martinson
Now as the fasten seatbelt signs comes back on and we begin our decent, I invite you to ponder – What are you thankful for? Who and what give you pause? Might this be a week to both reflect and offer your thanks.
Join the conversation on Facebook.com/FirstThird!
Terri Elton is passionate about young people and their families, and loves the church. No really! She’s our Associate Professor and teaches with an eye toward developing leaders and leading change.
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