It has become an exercise in free speech and a challenge to the federal government. "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," the birth child of the group Alliance Defending Freedom, is designed to challenge the 50-year-old Johnson Amendment (501 c 3), which prohibits tax-exempt charities from publicly endorsing or opposing a candidate for office or working on their behalf. On Sunday, October 7, pastors who choose to participate will stand in the pulpit and endorse and/or oppose candidates for office—and no doubt focus on the presidential candidates themselves.
The custom of writing thank you notes is a good and necessary one. I make it practice every week to send two or three thank you notes to parishioners for their service to Jesus Christ, his church and its mission. It is important to let people know that their contribution matters.
One thing I have noticed as a Protestant whose tradition observes the 40 days Lent: we don't seem to be very good at observing the 50 days of the Easter season. Yes, we pull out all the stops in worship on Easter Sunday, but then we seem to immediately go back to business as usual.
I have never found the New Year very interesting. While I enjoy the
celebration of Christmas, the New Year is basically a time to hang a
different calendar on the wall and to spend the first month trying to
remember to write 2012 instead of 2011.