I would like to thank all of you who extended your kind thoughts, prayers, cards, and sympathy during the last couple of weeks over the loss of my dad, Jim Babe Butler Gause. It was overwhelming, really, the hundreds of comments through various online avenues, texts and emails---I have been so touched. My Pop was a very special man, surviving a difficult childhood to become a man who never knew a stranger, who had an unquenchable interest in the world and its people and cultures, and who served hundreds as a Methodist minister in the final career of his life. Had a formal memorial service been possible in the time of COVID-19, it is hard to imagine a place that would have been large enough to accommodate the people whose lives he had touched over his almost 88 years. Not the least of whom were his fortunate and loving wife (my mom Jackie), his five children, his grand-children, great-granddaughter and his nephews. As many of you so beautifully stated, much of who I am is the result of his direct influence upon me. And in this last week in which we honored our veterans, I was proud that he was laid to rest with military honors for his service as a Navy hospital corpsman. I’ll be listening for your voice in the breeze and in the laughter of those I love, Pop.
Thanksgiving is upon us, just around the corner! And what a different kind of holiday it will be for so many of us. Please, keep yourselves and your loved ones safe. Surely next year will return us to some semblance of familiarity in our holidays, although we may never be the same again. And so remember to give thanks for all things great and small. Read a few of the Psalms to “kick-start” your gratitude (King David knew what he was doing) or jump into the Five-minute Gratitude Journal Class with me the next two Wednesdays (details below).
Also, Advent begins the Christmas season on Nov. 29. Besides talking about HOPE (the first Sunday of Advent), we will also connect in a different way in during that service. We will have an “Ask the Minister” segment in which I will (attempt to!) answer your questions about any topic religious, spiritual, or church related. Please email your questions (with Ask the Minister in the subject line) to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than 5pm Friday, Nov. 27.
Happy Thanksgiving, beloved ones,