My Glorious Night “In” a Hallmark Channel Holiday Movie

#WeAreAllJustWalkingEachOtherHome  #StandingInTheBreach  #SpeakLove  #RiseAbove  #FriendsIJustHaventMetYet

#NothingButGratitudeNovember

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Over the course of this month of November, I have taken some time each day to thoughtfully count my blessings and publicly share at least one thing each day that I am grateful for in my life – AKA my “#NothingButGratitudeNovember 2015 Campaign.” I have used Facebook as the primary platform for declaring my gratitude and have actually rather enjoyed sharing my thoughts and feelings of thanksgiving with my friends and family there. Surprisingly, another thing to be grateful for.

I have learned that much of what I am grateful for is also held in a space of gratitude by many others. The mutual acknowledgment of this commonly-shared gratitude, along with a number of requests and suggestions that I share – and continue to write – my posts in a more widely-accessible format, have led to my decision to include and re-share a few of my #NothingButGratitudeNovember (2015) posts here.

My thought is that sharing here what I am grateful for or restating here what I am grateful for cannot do anything but good, because expressing our gratitude is simply a good thing. My hope, however, is that as you read these posts you will be prompted to consider and quantify for your own sake that which you are thankful for and share your gratitude with others in ways that will enrich your life and theirs. One of those pay-it-forward proposals. Thank you for reading my blog and giving me one more thing to be thankful for!

#NothingButGratitudeNovember: 11/22/2015 Restated

My Glorious Night “In” a Hallmark Channel Holiday Movie

Today I am grateful that I actually got to experience a real, live Hallmark Channel Holiday movie. For years I have secretly watched, and re-watched, those romantic, feel-good, Christmas-wishes-do-come-true Hallmark Channel holiday movies. I can watch the same one three, straight nights in a row and cry at the ending all three nights.

Tonight I actually got to experience one and it was every bit as good, if not significantly better, than any of the made-for-TV tearjerkers I have watched in the past. I was truly blessed tonight to attend the 16th Annual Thanksgiving Interfatih Service at St. Vincent De Paul Catholic Church in Holladay with Chaplain Tami Taylor. It was organized and presented by the City of Holladay Interfaith Council and it was one of the best church services I have attended for as long as I can remember.

Hundreds of friends and neighbors from throughout the Holladay area gathered together tonight as “fellow citizens … of the household of God” to give thanks and recognize the many blessings that we all share together. Catholics, Mormons, Lutherans, Presbyterians, and many, many other believers filled the church to capacity and sat side-by-side in faith, love, unity, humility, and gratitude. Couples, families, and individuals – young and old – held a truly remarkable space of thanksgiving and mutual support and respect for one another.

Together praying, listening, and singing aloud a nearly 400-year-old hymn:

“Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine,
So from the beginning the fight we were winning
Thou, Lord, wast at our side; All glory be thine!”

The spirit of love, the spirit of community, the spirit of oneness, and the spirit of God were seemingly visible and palpable; definitely felt. Tears ran down my cheeks through most of the service as I was just simply blown away by all that I felt and witnessed.

It really was like being “in” one of those Hallmark Channel Holiday movies where the whole town can be seen in church together singing and worshiping as neighbors and fellow parishioners. I was just waiting for the ghost of Jimmy Stewart to appear and hear angels sing Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Auld Lang Syne. Everyone looked and felt familiar; as neighbors should. And it was very evident that those who were in attendance wanted to be there and scheduled the annual event as a scheduling priority.

The interfaith movement and work is compelling. It is healing and rich in opportunity and reward. And it is about time.

Believe Bravely; Dare Greatly; Thank Boldly,

Jay

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