Worship Guide 11/27/2022

  Sunday, November 27, 2022 at 10:00 AM in the Church and Zoom Sanctuaries

Worship Gathering


This Sunday, November 27th, Rev. Jim Burklo will lead us in worship

Dear beloved community of UCC Simi Valley:

On Giving Thanks

I have unholy wants.  Some things I desire are not so good for me, or for others.  Even when I want good things, I sometimes want too much of them, harming myself and others.  Or I want good things at bad times and in wrong places.

What I hope for isn’t entirely pure.  Some of my hopes are tainted by my selfishness and bitterness.  I don’t always wish the best for others, though I wish that wasn’t the case.

What I worship isn’t so holy, either.  Because my religion, like all others, is a human creation.  My idea of God is just that – my idea, colored by my prejudices, shaped by my preferences.  I so often define God in my own image, rather than letting myself be defined in God’s. 

But in gratitude we come as close to divinity as we humans can get. We cannot fail by giving thanks.  We fail only in forgetting to do so.  To be sure, we are not thankful enough for enough of what we are and what we have.  But every little “thank you” directed to other persons and beings and to the Divine Source of all – every silent or spoken expression of sincere gratitude – is perfection itself.  It is an instant, if only in an instant, when we go beyond our limited, mortal selves and participate in the existence of a Source outside our egos. 

Sincere gratitude is the very definition of holiness.  It is the purest prayer we can offer.  In gratitude, all people and things are equal. Perhaps I can muster thankfulness only for my most prized and valuable material possessions.  It doesn ‘t matter.  It’s still gratitude, just as much as if I had been grateful for something supposedly more virtuous.  Divine gratitude overwhelms you when admiring whatever wealth you might claim.  Divine gratitude overwhelms you when looking at a beautiful fall-colored leaf on the ground.  It’s all the same.   

God makes no distinction.  Gratitude is gratitude.  Thanksgiving brings everything up to a heavenly level.  Thanksgiving creates spiritual equality for all beings and things.  In thanksgiving, we can know what it means for all to be one.

Because in thanks, what once had been an “it” suddenly becomes a “you”.  We don’t say “thank it”.  We say “thank you” – recognizing implicitly that there is a transcendent YOU, blessing us with unspeakably wonderful gifts, none more wondrous than each breath we take and each beat of our hearts – as we gratefully contemplate the gift of life itself.

There is purity in gratitude. Thank you, thank you, thank you….

–Jim Burklo

PS:  If you’d like to subscribe to my weekly blog, “musings”, email me at jtburklo@yahoo.com and I’ll put you on the list!

P.S.S.:  In addition to being your pastor, I’m also the (volunteer) Executive Director of ProgressiveChristiansUniting.org .  I’m leading its main project, a new global network of progressive Christian ministries at colleges and universities called ZOE…  zoeoncampus.org . 



See you on Sunday!

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Here is the Zoom Information:

Worship begins at 10:00 AM.

 Topic: Sunday Morning Worship Gathering in the Midst

Time: Sundays 9:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Meeting ID: 898 1487 4542
Passcode: 223180
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