Thanksgiving, in my life experience, has been a time to connect to family through tradition. I remember Thanksgivings with my uncle and grandparents. I remember Thanksgivings in my home town and in the town where I raised my kids. I’ve had Thanksgiving Day in Massachusetts, Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, New York, and on the island of St. John—and now in Michigan.
Today I went shopping for the Thanksgiving meal I am planning for myself, my partner, and my kids who are arriving tonight. I’m grateful for the money I have to buy the things I need; I’m grateful for the stable agricultural and economic system that makes food and other things so readily available; and above all, I’m grateful for loving connections with my family.
At Sunday’s worship service, everyone was invited to write down what they are grateful for. Young and old shared aloud during the service; many people posted their paper leaves on our “tree of gratitude” in the sanctuary. Here’s what some of them say:
What are you grateful for?
I am honored to be witness to these heartfelt expressions of gratitude. The tree of gratitude will remain on display for a few weeks in the sanctuary or the fellowship hall.
Food sustains my body, but love and connection with family and friends keeps me alive in mind and spirit. I’m grateful for my health—in body, mind, and spirit. I’m grateful for the chance to be with loved ones on this holiday of tradition and gratitude.
Divine spirit of the earth, grower and sustainer of life, we thank you. Energy of the sun, that all earthly life depends on, we thank you. We thank the rain that fed the crops, the hands that planted and harvested, the bakers and cooks and preparers of our food.
We are thankful for the vehicles and roads and safety workers, the drivers and pilots who bring loved ones together across the miles.
We lament the loss of loved ones who are not at our table any longer, and we feel the connection with them through tradition and memory.
May all who are hungry find a table set with a dinner to feed them. May all who are lonely find companions to share their experience with. May we all be reminded of what we are grateful for, to sweeten our appreciation of this tragic, beautiful, scary, delightful life.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Drew's office hours are suspended until further notice. However, he is reachable at any time via email, phone, or text.
Day off: Monday
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