For Laura Muresan, volunteer work can sometimes become discouraging.
“Just as I’m getting most discouraged, someone sends an email thanking me and telling me I’m doing a good job,” said the member of LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. “Sometimes a kind word makes all the difference.”
Muresan is just one of 784 people who were involved in Thank You Sunday at LaGrave, whose members were encouraged to thank each other for their combined 1,653 acts of service throughout the year, both inside and outside the church.
Elder Bob Berkhof thanked volunteer Ben Peterson, 10. Dawn Peterson
“It raises awareness in general and encourages congregants to voice their appreciation when otherwise they might not have,” said Muresan.
“We had a reverse offering where . . . slips of paper were offered to the congregation,” explained Dawn Peterson, who coordinated the event. “Everyone was encouraged to take one and then find the person named on the slip to say thank you,” she continued.
Some members greeted each other after the service, while others wrote cards and notes.
While not everyone was thanked by the person who picked his or her name, Muresan said that the event has encouraged more appreciation in the church. In fact, several people thanked her, even though they hadn’t drawn her name.
“I can’t speak for everyone, but I know it's made me want to be more intentional about thanking people,” she said. “Anything the church can do to develop a culture of thankfulness and encouragement can only be a good thing.”