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“Thousand, Thousand Thanks Shall Be”
Join thankful hearts with our community for Thanksgiving Worship,
Sunday, November 24th at 5:30pm.
Then, like pilgrims and Native Americans, we’ll sit down and feast! Turkey and all the trimmings highlight a Potluck Meal following the service (turkey and ham provided) with lots of lighthearted entertainment! Join your grateful hearts to those of friends in Christ who sing:
“Thousand, thousand thanks shall be Dearest Jesus unto thee”
(A sign-up for the potluck is posted in the centrum)
“Lord, Prepare Me to Be a Sanctuary’
For Millennials, this campfire song is as familiar as “Kum Bay Yah” to Baby Boomers.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America voted in this summer’s assembly to make it a song for all generations.
In fact, this song always has been for all generations, all ages, all times. God sung it to the earliest Israelites so that their sanctuaries would include the harried and the hunted, the refugee and those running in fear.
God wanted Israel to be a sanctuary.
The word itself has a rich history. It can mean a holy place, like the Israelite tabernacle or the Jerusalem temple. It can mean a safe place, like the six cities of refuge that were designated by Moses to protect fugitives from vigilantes or “lynching” mobs. Those were the first ‘sanctuary cities’, established centuries before Christ.
There is nothing new about sanctuary cities or sanctuary churches who offer safety and protection for the refugee. In fact, sanctuaries do not even have to be houses of worship. A manger in Bethlehem became a sanctuary for Mary and her newborn son. A house in Mesquite can become a Bethlehem for refugees seeking protection and a fresh start. The above song declares that even you and I—our very persons—are to be sanctuaries as well.
It comes as somewhat of a surprise, therefore, that our denomination’s declaration to be what it already is created such a firestorm … unless one realizes that the word ‘sanctuary’ itself sets off a flashpoint of controversy in our toxic political environment. The ELCA simply wanted to recover what had been lost in our nation’s reckless rhetoric about the refugee. As the ELCA’s website declares:
“Welcoming the stranger is not a political issue for us—it is a matter of faith.”
To help navigate a path through our divided discourse, the ELCA’s website offers a ‘Q and A’ to help explain what it means to be a sanctuary denomination. A few of the responses follow below. You may check the ELCA’s website for a more comprehensive discussion.
What does becoming a sanctuary denomination mean for the ELCA?
It is my fervent prayer that God’s ‘Sanctuary Song” sung around the campfires of ancient Israel, may still be sung around our campfires—by Millennials and Baby Boomers alike. Our world needs to hear us still singing …
“With Thanksgiving, I’ll be a Living, Sanctuary for You.”