For All the Saints

Written by the Reverend Woody Brown

As we begin a new year, I invite you to take a few moments to remember and give thanks for all the saints, past, future and present.

When the Reverend Dr. Doug Oldenburg served as president of Columbia Theological Seminary, he often reminded students:

 We build on foundations we did not lay.
We drink from wells we did not dig.

Years later, David Stanford, a church member from Orlando, added to that by saying:

We eat the fruit from trees we did not plant.

Remember how indebted we are to those who came before us. Think of the social and political leaders who helped sculpt the world for future generations. Think of neighbors, teachers, coaches, friends and family who shaped our lives. Give thanks for those people who contributed to make our lives better, stronger and healthier.

Remember how responsible we are to those who come after us. We are merely heirs (or stewards) of what was entrusted to us. So we ask, “What kind of world are we passing to the next generation?” “How healthy are our foundations, wells and trees?”

Remember how connected we are to those who come with us today. It’s too easy to divide and separate people from one another. Really, most differences between people are but thin veneers. As followers of Christ, we are brothers and sisters to people living north, south, east and west. The Bible reminds us, “We are all one in Christ.”

Dear saints of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas, I am so very thankful for you!

Woody Brown
Interim Sr. Pastor


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Woody Brown is the Interim Pastor and Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. Woody has served the Presbyterian Church for 30 years. He has served in pastoral ministry in urban, sub-urban, and rural areas. His passion in ministry is serving and leading the people of God. Most recently, Woody served as the senior pastor of the Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church in Overland Park, Kansas.