Many of us will gather with loved ones this week to give thanks for God’s abundance in our lives. Among the various delights we’ll enjoy include delicious foods prepared with family and friends, and an opportunity to pray and express our thankfulness for specific events from the past year. Somehow, verbalizing one’s gratitude to God is a pleasure even greater than the food we share with family and friends during Thanksgiving.
As a ministry, the staff and I have so much to be thankful for this year. We give thanks not only to our faithful Lord and redeemer, but to each of you who stood by us so faithfully, and with much self-sacrifice. Though not exhaustive, here are some events that rise to the top of our thankful list! These include:
Give to the Max Day last week! Thanks to all of you who participated in this Minnesota fundraiser on November 16. More than 110 donors signed on to support CBE throughout a twenty-four hour period, some giving multiple times throughout. Our goal was to raise $35,000 for youth resources, but God did more than we dreamed or imagined possible. To our utter surprise, you—our dearest friends and colleagues—donated over $38,000, putting CBE in seventh place among all small nonprofits in Minnesota, making it possible for us to gain another $5,000! And, some joined this effort for the first time. Donors were as tenacious as they were faithful, rising as early as 1:00 am and not giving up until 11:59 pm. What is more, our amazing board of directors and one precious couple raised a large capital sum to be matched throughout the day. Check out our thank you video and feel our excitement and appreciation for this event!
God’s powerful presence was also evident in manifold ways during the recent meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). We thank God for so many fruitful and expansive papers on gender, from many perspectives; for excellent conversations at CBE’s booth; for many gracious and knowledgeable volunteers to engage ETS members; and for a joyful and well-attended CBE community meal, where friendships were developed and egalitarian ideas enlarged. Finally, we give thanks to God for the great interest in CBE’s resources, and the generous foundation that made it possible to send every member of ETS a special CBE journal filled with theological resources and personal stories that make a powerful egalitarian case.
We also thank God for so many international colleagues to work beside. This year in particular, we enjoyed collaborations with egalitarians from many different ages, cultures, geographic regions, and economic categories. Our conference in Seattle is but one example. Thanks to a generous foundation grant and many gracious host families, more than a dozen international colleagues participated in our Seattle conference and in strategic meetings afterward. They were joined by several CBE student interns who invested their unique gifts and callings at our office this summer. We also thank Christ for our first international fellow, who spent more than a few weeks translating our most concise resources into Swahili, paving the way for a Kenyan conference next summer.
From those who edit or write for our journals and blogs; to those who serve on our board; to those who create the technical infrastructure that carries our message throughout the web and brings it home again; to our staff, members, students, donors, and friends—we are rich for having an opportunity to work beside truly exceptional Christians who delight in serving others. God has gifted us most profoundly in our relationships with one another, and through these we have become better in our service to Christ.
From all us here at CBE, may your Thanksgiving be filled with Christ’s peace and joy, and may you have much joy in recounting all Christ has done and will do, in and through the power of the Holy Spirit active in our lives. Thank you for being a part of our community and work.