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Year of Gratitude

In 2014, FUMCR focused on expressing gratitude daily as inspired by the book, 365 Thank Yous: The Year a Simple Act of Daily Gratitude Changed my Life, by John Kralik.

Studies have shown that those who live with a sense of thanksgiving report that they are far happier than those who do not. As a family of faith, we know that we have been blessed and that it is important to give thanks to God. It is also essential to our well-being to express our gratitude to one another, and to those who have made a difference in our lives. 

The Bible teaches us to “give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

From the Wall Street Journal: "A field of research on gratitude in kids is emerging, and early findings indicate parents' instincts to elevate the topic are spot-on. Concrete benefits come to kids who literally count their blessings. Gratitude works like a muscle. Take time to recognize good fortune, and feelings of appreciation can increase. Even more, those who are less grateful gain the most from a concerted effort."

Beyond just the simple phrase, try to express thanks in a meaningful way to someone every day - family & friends, individuals & groups, loved ones near, far & passed away and even strangers.

Following are the suggestions and insights that were offered to our members and guests each week during the year. To jump to a particular week, enter just the number in the search bar.

Week 14

Who to Thank

A friend


No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

John 15:13


Think to Thank. In these three words are the finest capsule course for a happy marriage, formula for enduring friendship, and a pattern for personal happiness.

- Thomas S. Monson

Week 15

Who to Thank

Someone who helped you grieve the loss of a loved one


Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And he did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

Luke 22:19-20


As each day comes to us refreshed and anew, so does my gratitude renew itself daily. The breaking of the sun over the horizon is my grateful heart dawning upon a blessed world.

- Adabella Radici

Week 16

Who to Thank

Someone who made you smile this week


So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him.

Matthew 28: 8-9


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

- Thornton Wilder

Week 17

Who to Thank

A teacher


We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: . . . the teacher, in teaching . . .

Romans 12: 6-7


A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

- Henry Adams

Week 18

Who to Thank

A mother figure


For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Matthew 6.21


In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.

- Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love 

Week 19

Who to Thank

Someone who you've taken for granted


Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

James 1:17


Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.

- William Arthur Ward

Week 20

Who to Thank

Someone who helped you deal with change


We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28


Gratitude is the real treasure God wants us to find, because it isn't the pot of gold but the rainbow that colors our world.

- Richelle E. Goodrich

Week 21

Who to Thank

Someone who has served or is currently serving in the armed forces


Those who bring thanksgiving as their sacrifice honor me; to those who go the right way I will show the salvation of God.

Psalm 50:23


The value we place on what we've been given correlates to our depth of gratitude for it.

- Todd Stocker

Week 22

Who to Thank

Spread the Year of Gratitude. Thank someone who doesn't live in Texas.


I do it all for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

1 Corinthians 9:23


Gratitude helps you to grow and expand; gratitude brings joy and laughter into your life and into the lives of those around you.

- Eileen Caddy

Week 23

Who to Thank

A father figure


Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Exodus 20:12


He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

- Clarence Budington "Bud" Kelland

Week 24

Who to Thank

Someone who has made the church a better place


We welcome this in every way and everywhere with utmost gratitude.

Acts 24:3


When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed.

- Maya Angelou

Week 25

Who to Thank

Someone who has made your neighborhood or community a better place


But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him.

2 Corinthians 2:14


When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.

- G.K. Chesterton

Week 26

Who to Thank

Take notes with you and thank those who make a trip or vacation special


Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4: 15


Whenever you go on a trip to visit foreign lands or distant places, remember that they are all someone's home and backyard.

- Vera Nazarian

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