Giving thanks

Cyril of Jeruselem“Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.”
“It is right to give our thanks and praise.”

At every service of Holy Communion, pastor and people have this little conversation. Sometimes it’s sung, sometimes it’s spoken – but it’s always there, and has been for a long, long time.

Way back in about the year 350, a pastor in Jerusalem named Cyril offered a series of Lent and Eastertime talks for people who were preparing for baptism or who had just been baptized, describing and explaining what happened when his congregation gathered to worship. (And he wrote them down! Thank you, Cyril!) He included the exact words of that little conversation in his description of worship, so we know that it had already been in use long enough to be a set formula. And, except for translation, the words of this conversation have stayed almost exactly the same ever since.

This conversation about thanking God is what has given the church the name of our service of Holy Communion – Eucharist.

Clearly, giving thanks is central to our worship. Is it central to our lives?

Thankofferings have been central to the life of Women of the ELCA since our founding – and Lutheran women have gathered to make Thankofferings since long before that. Thankofferings are gifts made in gratitude for the blessings that God has so generously poured out upon us – blessings that we could never pay back, but that we can certainly pay forward. Thanks be to God.

Audrey Riley is director for stewardship for Women of the ELCA.

Photo of Saint Cyril of Jeruselem in the public domain {{PD-US}}


More about Thankofferings

To learn more about Thankofferings, please see All About Thankofferings. To plan a Thankoffering in your congregation, please see Thankoffering Service. To learn more about what your Thankofferings support, please see Fall 2016 Interchange.

To make a Thankoffering online by credit card, please see Choose “Where needed most,” and in the Designation drop-down box, choose Thankofferings.

To mail your personal Thankoffering, please make out your check to Women of the ELCA and write “Thankoffering” in the memo line. The address is below.

Unit treasurers, to mail in your unit’s or congregation’s Thankoffering, please use Form B and fill it in as shown in the sample here.

Please mail checks to:
Women of the ELCA
ELCA Gift Processing Center
P.O. Box 1809
Merrifield, VA 22116-8009


Past devotions:

October 2016: Look in the mirror
September 2016: Seasons of stewardship

August 2016: No child should go hungry
July 2016: Prepare for the triennial
June 2016: Beginning the journey

May 2016: Holy Stewardship
April 2016: Good for our hearts!
March 2016: Loving Lent
February 2016: Happy birthday Katie!

January 2016 devotion: “I am about to do a new thing!”

December 2015 devotion: GIving thanks for you
November 2015 devotion: Giving thanks to God