Indeed, the pandemic puts a whole new light on Thanksgiving. Last year we didn’t dare gather with family members because there was no vaccine. This year I know many families that are considering whether to gather based on the vaccinated status of their loved ones.
Family is what I’m most grateful for. I’m thankful to have a loving spouse. I’m thankful that my kids live within a half day’s drive. I’m thankful that the relationships with my siblings have deepened during the pandemic: the six of us gather on Zoom every Sunday from four different states and two different countries. I’m grateful that I can check in with my dad and step-parents on that same Zoom call; and for my mother, I’m grateful to the caregivers and hospice workers who care for her every day as she enters the next stage of her journey.
Finally, I’m grateful for the ministry work I’ve been called to do and the chance to do it here. This work carries the challenge and fulfillment of encountering people in need of support and offering what I can to them. This work includes the beauty of relationships that are evolving and deepening within the congregation. This work challenges me to bring my best self emotionally, spiritually, and intellectually every day. I have joy of seeing this congregation grow, and the joy of connecting with Unitarian Universalists across the state and the nation, deepening my sense of this sacred and life-affirming movement.
As Thanksgiving arrives, I hope that everyone is able to pause and reflect on gratitude. May we see that each day, each breath, is a gift we are given.
Divine Light in the universe, present in the waning sunlight of these late fall days, present in the light of the full moon, present in the candle flame and the hearth fire, be here now.
May the light of love and truth fall upon each of us this harvest season. May the light of love and warmth bless every family with no exceptions. May all know that they are held in love.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew (Drew) Frantz
November 18, 2021