Rev. Dr. Wayne Chasney
Pastor Wayne began his ministry at Monroeville in August, 1993, after graduating from Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, PA. Pastor Wayne has his Doctorate of Ministry from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary with a focus on ministry in the small church.
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (Matthew 22:37)
In his spare time, Pastor Wayne loves running, reading and cheering for the Minnesota Vikings.
Pastor Wayne is married to Rev. Wendy Schindler-Chasney, pastor of St. John's UCC, Milan. They have two daughters.
"Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices." (Martin Rinkart)
The "greatest and first commandment," according to Jesus, is to give our whole being to God: heart, soul and mind. The expectation is that we put our relationship with God first in our lives and dedicate our lives to serving God. As we well know, that is a pretty high expectation. First, we have to get ourselves out of the way. The natural tendency for most of us is to take care of ourselves first, heart, soul and mind.
Even when we are able to overcome our own selfishness, then life often gets in the way of putting God first. We get busy. Demands are made on our hearts and souls and minds. Without even being aware of it, our relationship with God drifts slowly down the list of priorities until God is relegated to the occasional Sunday morning visit in church. And even there, our heart, soul and mind can be distracted by more pressing concerns.
Giving thanks has the power to correct that imbalance. Pausing amidst the busy-ness of life to remember what we are thankful for and whom we are thankful to helps to recenter our heart, soul and mind on God and reestablish God's rightful place in our lives.
I certainly know that I have had times where life has gone a little off the rails and I may be feeling sorry for myself or focusing on the wrong things in life. In those moments, all it took was one little reminder of God's blessing in my life and suddenly my mood got a little brighter and life got a little calmer.
Gratitude may well be one of the most powerful tools we have for living in God's kingdom today. It has the power to change our own thinking and how we treat others. While next Thursday is a wonderful opportunity to get back to being thankful, why wait? And why do it only once a year? Just as we are called to love God with all our heart, soul and mind, may we also give thanks to God, with hearts and hands and voices, each and every day of our lives.