Overpowering Shame

October 7, 2018

Church of the Servant, Wilmington, NC

Proper 22, Year B
Mark 10:2-16

Listen here:













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A Daily Morsel of Gratitude

November 28, 2013

Christ Church Episcopal, Norcross, GA

Thanksgiving Day – Year C RCL

Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 100, 18-21, Philippians 4:4-9, John 6:25-35

Happy Thanksgiving!

Our national holiday for food and football…
fried turkeys, friends and family! (not necessarily in that order)

And if we take a moment amid the rolls and gravy, it’s a day that invites each of us to reflect upon what we are thankful for.

As I thought about this, the work of Brené Brown came to mind. She’s a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Some of you may have seen her TED Talks on you tube – I was fortunate to get to meet her and hear her speak at a symposium last February. Her research for the past 12 years has studied shame and vulnerability and out of that work, she has discovered ways people bring about joy in their lives.

In a video interview published last year, she shared insights about the link between joy and gratitude. She was surprised to find in her years of research, that the only people who described their lives as joyful were also those who actively practiced gratitude. She admitted

that in the beginning of her work she thought that she’d find the opposite to be true: “if you are joyful, that you should be grateful.” But it was actually the other way around. She found that “practicing gratitude invites joy into our lives.”


She went on to explain that the practice of gratitude isn’t just feeling grateful, or having “an attitude of gratitude.” It’s having an intentional and tangible gratitude practice. Some people keep a gratitude journal, while others might pick a time each day to say out loud something they are grateful for.

For her family, each night at the dinner table, after saying grace, they go around the table and share something that they are grateful for. I’m guessing this may be a fairly common around dinner tables today – a day set aside for giving thanks – but to make it a daily practice, that’s a different story. Read the rest of this entry »

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