Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving Service’ Category

Want to be Healthier? Say Thanks!   Leave a comment

shutterstock_100186745A special day for thanksgiving hasn’t really caught on in Australia yet, although other parts of the world celebrate it around this time of year. However, it may be time to consider its inclusion as part of a preventative approach to health care, because gratitude is so good for you.

In his inspiring book, Thanks! How the New Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier, psychologist Robert Emmons cites research that found saying “thank you” measurably increases our happiness and health. He refers to an earlier study published in 2003 in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology that found that participants who kept weekly ‘gratitude journals’ felt better about their lives as a whole and were more optimistic about the coming week. They also reported fewer physical symptoms, and lower levels of depression and stress than people who are not grateful.

I’ve noticed that gratitude is often the catalyst that brings healing into my life, too. For instance, stress and anxiety have lessened when I’ve changed a resentful attitude to being thankful for someone’s creativity, intelligence or community-mindedness; or when I’ve stopped belittling myself and been grateful instead for my unique abilities.

To feel thankful, you must consciously stop the insistent negative whirring in your head, be still and replace that negativity. Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts, suggests spiritual thinker, Mary Baker Eddy in her primary work, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p261).

Like many others, I can relate to the connection between a grateful heart and a healthy body. But for me it goes even deeper than that.

As a practitioner of Christian Science, I’ve found that gratitude is more than now-and-then positive thinking or a verbal expression of thanks. To make a difference, it needs to be shown in greater patience, humility and good deeds.

As such, it forms part of a preventative approach to healthcare and becomes a natural, foundational part of life, inextricably linked to consistent health.

Could it be that we have more control over our health than previously thought? And, if so, are there other qualities of thought besides gratitude that we could and perhaps should be cultivating?

This article was contributed by Kay Stroud of Queensland. Kay is a freelance writer and researcher on the connection between spirituality and health. Her blog can be read at: .

If you are in Canberra on Thursday 19 November 2015 join us at 6.00 pm (corner of Macquarie and Bligh Streets, Barton) for our annual Thanksgiving Service.  Everyone is welcome.

Gratitude That Heals   Leave a comment

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For years I had no working concept of God, at least not one that satisfied my yearning and yet was answerable to reason.  The anthropomorphic God of my childhood had stopped seeming credible to me once I reached high school. 

I searched world religions and philosophies for decades until finally settling into an uneasy truce with this apparently unknown and inaccessible being.

Then the tragic loss of a friend shattered this standoff, and the timeless question of why bad things happen to good people demanded an answer.  During this time another friend shared some thoughts about God as not someone who had to be pleased or appeased, but as infinite, divine Love, as Principle.  And I realized that a God that is pure Love and unchanging Principle does not force tragedy upon us, but rather rescues us from it.  And this concept of God became alive and meaningful to me.  This understanding of God restored my faith in good, and for that I am deeply grateful.

I certainly have many reasons to feel grateful, which I celebrate quietly in my own thought, and by directly thanking those for whom I am grateful.  I am often awed and humbled by stores about kind and selfless acts done on behalf of others, sometimes by persons unknown.  And there must be thousands upon thousands of good deeds, both untold and unacknowledged, occurring daily.

So Thanksgiving Day to me has always seemed like the most important of holidays, a day in which to step back acknowledge all the good in the world, obvious or not.

How does one do that? I learned a good lesson about this from a friend who was healed in childhood more than 50 years ago of a crippling disease through Christian Science treatment.  She’s been asked by a Christian Science practitioner who was praying for her to take inventory of everything she could think of to be grateful for.  One item that stood out from her list was the “sidewalk outside her window” because even though she couldn’t walk on it, other people could.  And so she was grateful on their behalf.

I can only guess what else showed up on my friend’s list, and I recall her saying it became a very long list indeed.  She improved until all evidence of the ailment disappeared, never to return.  But the gratitude and the simple practice of acknowledging it has remained with her to this day.

Mary Baker Eddy, who discovered Christian Science, wrote, “Are we really grateful for the good already received?  Then we shall avail ourselves of the blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more” (“Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures”, p3). These ideas remind me to take inventory of all the blessings in my life, great and small; to acknowledge good; and to expect the continuation of good.

So every day I add to my own gratitude list.  At the top of that list is my gratitude for the reawakening in my awareness of the presence of God, always with me.  And on Thanksgiving I gratefully acknowledge, in the timeless words of George Washington’s original Thanksgiving Proclamation, “that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.”

The full text of this article by Joan Furlong was originally published in the Christian Science Monitor – A Christian Science Perspective – November 21, 2011.

Everyone is welcome to join in giving gratitude for blessings received at the Thanksgiving service being held at 6.00 pm at the Christian Science Church on the corner of Macquarie & Bligh Streets in Barton.

Posted November 19, 2013 by cscanberra in Gratitude, Thanksgiving Service

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