2016 Thanksgiving Day message

 

This past Sunday we shared a few things related to Thanksgiving:

A poem by Karen An-hwei Lee called “Edge of Faith”, a reading from Parker Palmer’s book  “A Hidden Wholeness: The Journey Toward and Undivided Life”, a way of turning the Pledge of Allegiance into a prayer:

“One nation,  O GOD! Indivisible, With liberty and justice for all,”

and a prayer that you might use on Thanksgiving morning.  (Adapted from Dear Abby:)

We are thankful for this food and remember the hungry.

We are thankful for these friends and remember the friendless

We are thankful for freedom and remember the enslaved

May these remembrances stir us to service

That the gifts we have received may be used for others.

Whether you are joining the community Thanksgiving at 2 PM in the Social Hall, or driving five hours to be with family, may your travels be safe and relaxing.

Thank you to those who took part in our reading of names for Transgender Day of Remembrance.   Mindy Squillace has created a short YouTube video with names and faces of Transgender persons murdered this past year.  Can you take three minutes to view it?  https://youtu.be/YNon_M7BfcM

Thanksgiving, the holiday, dates from the American Civil War as a day to pray and give thanks for the blessings which have come in the previous year.   Also to: “fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

Isn’t that a good thing to pray and work for this Thanksgiving?  May we use our time in community to work toward these goals, peace, liberty and justice for all.

Thanks-grieving

The past few days I’ve been reminded of how some Native Americans consider Thursday to be “Thanks-grieving”  instead of “-giving”.  They remember the Pilgrim Thanksgiving celebrated by the Wampanoag tribe with their vassal group of English settlers.   They point out how, through the years, good will and treaties ended in bad faith, death and tears… from colonization to the Republic to today.  This relates to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, protesting construction of a crude oil pipeline upstream of the tribe’s water supply.

They see that this is a further intrusion into their land rights, as part of a long chain of broken promises.  Fifty Unitarian Universalist clergy went to Standing Rock  in early November to join the resistance movement.

Read about it in the UU World: http://www.uuworld.org/articles/50-clergy-standing-rock
In more recent news, after the clergy and news media left, the local sheriff’s department used fire hoses, rubber bullets, pepper spray and concussion grenades on protesters camped in sub-freezing weather.

We are grateful for food, and remember the hungry.  We are grateful for friends, and remember the friendless.  And we are mindful that many of life’s gifts we take for granted have come at the expense of others.

May your Thanksgiving be blessed.

With love,

Rev Charlie