Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Thanksgiving Day is a time to reflect and be thankful for all that God has given us. Before we begin the sumptuous Thanksgiving feast, we must remember to offer our thanks to the Supreme Being who has showered us with blessings and fortune. In our prayers, let us remember those who have barely enough to feed or clothe themselves. Let the kindness in your heart reach out to the millions of starving souls.
"Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Eph .5:20)
The Holy Apostle Paul told the Ephesians to be thankful to God for all things. If we examine the words of St. Paul, we will learn from all things we experienc
If we are observant, we see God at work in the world. If we experience pain and hardship, we have reasons to draw near to God in prayer. If we face, punishment, we are clearly reminded to repent and return to the way of God.
When we have food on our table and a roof over our head, we have reasons to thank God. If we have good health, we have reason to thank God. When we face illness or tragedy, we can thank God for life He has given.
Being able to see, to breathe and to talk are reasons to thank God. Being able to hear, to think, and to sense are reasons to thank God. Having pain is a signal that something must be done. Let us thank God for the ability to sense pain.
Each talent is a gift from God. Each skill is a gift from God. For talents and skills, let us give thanks to God.
Jesus Christ took on flesh and walked the earth. We can never stop thanking Jesus for His humility, His teachings, His suffering on the Cross. We can never stop thanking Jesus for His Resurrection.
God hears each prayer. We have reason to thank God for being attentive. God provides hope when illness and tragedy strike, when problems confront us. We have reasons to thank God for hope, to thank God for being God.
We have reasons to thank God for our parents, who with God gave us life. We have reasons to thank God for our family and friends with whom we have shared life.
We have reasons to thank God for our Metropolitan Alexios, the priests, monastics and churches of our Metropolis. We have reason to be thankful for the St.Athanasios Church where we can experience God, learn about God and turn to God in prayer.
We live in country where education is accessible. We live in a country where freedom exists. We have reason to be thankful for educational opportunities and for freedom.
The love of God is known to believers. The forgiveness of God is known to believers. The mercy of God is known to believers, For forgiveness, for mercy, for the love of God, we have reasons to be thankful.
Each person has the ability to pray. Prayer puts into action our hopes, our faith in God, our pleas for mercy. To be able to pray is reason to be thankful. To recognize gifts from God is reason to be thankful.
Jesus told of the ten lepers who were healed and of the one who who returned to say "thank you". (Lk. 17:11-19)
We often question the presence of God and his miracles. But we must acknowledge that every day is a miracle, and His merciful benevolence has seen us through the tough times. The Thanksgiving feast is the proof of His love and we are blessed to share the feast with our loved ones
For all things, let us give thanks.
The St. Athanasios Orthodox Church of Gulf Shores wishes you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!
May the blessing and the mercy of the Lord be with you!
+Father Sasa Turkic
Our Fall General Assembly will take place on Sunday, December 2nd, following the Divine Liturgy. For additional questions please contact Church Council President Tom Poulos at 251-648-7466.
Orthodox Christian Stewardship
Please join us for the Stewardship Presentation at St. Athanasios Church on Sunday, November 18th after Divine Liturgy.
Our guest speaker will be Dr. George Koulianos.
The sacrament of Holy Confession has always been a central part of an Orthodox Christian’s spiritual journey during our pilgrimage with the Lord in life. Orthodox Christians interested in participating in this Holy Sacrament of Confession and Reconciliation can meet with me by appointment. Please call me at 251-233-3128.
Additional information can be found about Holy Confession and the other sacraments of our Church on our web site at http://www.stathanasios.al.goarch.org/ourfaith/sacraments
+Fr Sasa Turkic