The Rev. Patrick Blaney
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Gratitude: How do you say “Thank You!!”

Good morning dear friends at St. John's Anglican Church. I'm very happy to be here with you again with The MixedAbilities Choir to share in worship and praise with you.

Since we last met to worship together, I've been pretty busy! As I recall, when we

were here at about this time last year, I shared what I hope were some good gospel

stories about how God's transforming love and companionship with Jesus, can, if

we allow it, can move us and guide us along our Christian journey together..

I wear a lot of hats in this North Vancouver community...I am an accredited Music Therapist with over twenty years of experience working and serving in many group homes and some private homes who support our challenged friends.

I am the founder and director of The MixedAbilities Choir, and we've been singing our little hearts out in this and other communities since 2001. You've seen and heard what we can do! And, we continue to be grateful for your friendship and offering in the form of community outreach to provide rehearsal space for this little group of musicians.

I am the current Board of Governance Chair over at my little Lynn Valley United

Church, and; I have some good news to report there...it's no longer a hole in the ground, it's actually a parking lot with some framing going on...and our little faithful community is excited about the possibility of an early Christmas present

of moving into a new building this time next year November 2016!

I am also the appointed Chaplain at North Vancouver city's Royal Canadian Legion Branch#118 over on 15th and Lonsdale.

All of the hats that I wear seem to be connected and inform how I move as a faithful servant in our community.

Since it's Remembrance week, and this is a dedicated Remembrance Service, I want to tell you a good gospel story and share with you why I am so grateful for my experiences and service in my role as Chaplain for our Veterans at the local Royal Canadian Legion.

As Chaplain, my duties range from; short prayers, consecrations, blessings, dedications...to larger services such as memorials.

I assist in creating an atmosphere of solemnity and respect for those who attend the

services that I participate in as Chaplain.

In fact, I have been busy doing some “Poppy Tagging” this past week, and I will

be present to offer the Scripture readings at our local cenotaph along with Fr. Charles Walters, Fr. Robin Celiz, my sister Chaplain Lizz Lindsay, and Reverend Andre Rebane, LGH Chaplain.

The text from Luke 17:11-19 that we heard is, in my mind, about GRATITUDE, and as I hear this text I wonder about those ten lepers who were healed...and why only one out of the ten, a foreigner Samaritan turned back to Jesus to thank Himfor the healing GRACE he received.

The other nine healed lepers were probably more concerned about returning to

their homes, wives and family, and preparing for re-entry into market and synagogue.

Yet, life for the one who returned to Jesus to thank him was different...

Gratitude to God is crucial to wholeness of mind, body and spirit...and to be madewell, we must always add thanksgiving and praise to our God. The person who makes such an offering experiences a Salvation that goes beyond merely a physical cure. It is a re-orientation of the inner life.

So, it is with Gratitude, that I serve as Chaplain for our Veterans, their families , and those valuable members in our community who dedicate their lives to serving others.

It truly is a wonderful world that we live in, yet, we continue to witness ongoing conflicts, those broken times and places where war seems inevitable.

Let us recognize with Humility and Sadness, the tragic loss of life that comes in war.We are Grateful that we can gather here in our lovely country as Canadians for those that have served with courage and honour.

We are Grateful for those that are willing to serve...the women and men who serve with honour, pride and compassion; those who don't allow their hearts to harden by the actions that they must take...those who are strengthened by the love and support of their families and friends throughout our community.

For those of us who keep the Faith – life is about choice, and so, we are Grateful for those who Choose to serve, and those who continue to serve, and those who

continue to serve valiantly, and...we Bless those who choose to put the welfare of others ahead of their own safety.

It is truly Inspiring to witness their loving self sacrifice in service to those who needprotection...widows and children, the poor, the hungry, those caught in racial and religious hatreds, those who experience persecution, those who are oppressed by those who are greedy for power over the weak folk.

We are grateful for those that have made the Ultimate Sacrifice...and, as a lovingfamily and friends, we can, and must comfort those that still feel the pain of their losses.It is right and good, that we can and do comfort those who mourn.

 

We can give our attention and thoughts to those who have been injured- brokenin their minds, bodies and spirits, and though they have been changed by those injuries; we are Grateful for the miracles of modern medicine, the first responders,the scientists, the knowers, the healers who work hard to help injured ones who return to us to be transformed and alive!!

Today as we give thanks and remember those who gave and continue to give themselves; let us honour them by offering ourselves to assist their struggle ---the struggle for TRUE PEACE.  What does that feel or look like to you?

 

The PEACE that I'm speaking about doesn't come from victory or defeat, rather,the PEACE that comes with Justice; a delicate balance of imagining a world wherethose who've been broken by wars waged are healed and made whole.

Thank You Jesus, for Your Healing Love and Companionship!

 

Amen.

Jill Parsons