You who have given so much to me,
Give me one thing more,
a grateful heart, for Christ’s sake. (George Herbert 1593-1633)

Thanksgiving in Canada is a Christian holiday. It was the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Canada that petitioned the government of the Dominion of Canada to establish a national holiday for Thanksgiving, a petition granted in 1879, when the Governor General announced ‘And whereas it is our duty to acknowledge publicly to Almighty God our thankfulness for the bountiful harvest with which he has blessed us during the present year … we have thought fit … to appoint this day … as a day of Public Thanksgiving to Almighty God’.

On this holy-day, you are invited to join us and give thanks to God. Not one of us chose to be born, and yet we have breath and blood. We live in a land of beauty and bounty, of diversity and security. We live in a city we did not build, with hospitals and schools and so many at work for the common good. When we were so far from good and God that we could not find our way back again, the Holy One came among us in Jesus to offer a new beginning to us. We know that so much of life is grace, so much of life is gift. And we know that a gift is never truly a gift until the giver is thanked … and so we will gather to lift up our thanksgivings to God.

The sermon continues a series that explores how the architecture of the sanctuary is meant to support our Christian faith. The focus this morning is upon the pews, the history of pews in general but particularly the shape of these pews that remind us we are gathered to be a community, a community of thanksgiving to God!

Have a look at the order of service – wonderful hymns of thanksgiving! – and the announcements and invitations to grow in Christian faith, community and service. There is ample free parking along the streets and in the public surface lot just behind the church off Queen Street. During the service there is a nursery offered for infants and a programme for children.

A joyous thanksgiving!

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