The rippling effect of 29 Gifts in 29 Days

This email arrived a few days ago.

Dear Ones,

Blessings to you this day!

Yesterday, in Church, we heard the scripture that “God loves a cheerful (hilarios!) giver,” and that when we give in this way the ripple effect “overflows through many thanksgivings to God.” I spoke of how I was influenced by the ripple effect which came my way through an e-mail/blog from a long time dear friend, Dan Rothermel.

I felt challenged to try the experiment that he is presently doing: 29 days of conscious, yet spontaneous, giving (research shows that it takes about 29 days to establish a new habit). And I challenged you all to join me in this. When I gathered our kids for Sunday School, they were eager to rise to the challenge (“not grudgingly or under compulsion” to use St. Paul’s words) and will begin today recording their adventures in their spiritual journals. (Parents please join me in helping them sustain their energy for this!)

It was brought to my attention that we will be finishing the 29 days about the time we have our Parish Retreat in Pecos. So, let me encourage you to also keep a journal of your experiences of this experiment in giving, and on our retreat we will have time to tell our stories. I’m sure we will have some “hilarious” and heartfelt moments to share, since God has promised to join us in this adventure. May it be blessed!

With fatherly care,

Fr. John

I knew Father John when he was Ralph, my teaching buddy at Nevitt Elementary School in Phoenix, Arizona in the 1970s.  Now a priest in the Greek Orthodox Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico, he was the one who drove a Ryder truck with me cross country when we moved from Arizona to New England in the dead of winter in 1982.  Three years later I drove a moving truck of his family’s belongings with him as he moved to Virginia to start seminary.  Ralph has thrown a small stone into a now rippling pond.


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