Monday, November 4, 2013

Prepare Your Heart for Thanksgiving

Dear Friends,

Miriam has just put enough cooked squash into her freezer for the eighteen people who are coming to Thanksgiving dinner at her home. The fresh turkey is ordered, all the phone calls are made to give others their assignments. Now, Miriam, our Nativity Brockport parishioner says she can take time to prepare her heart for Thanksgiving. “No sense celebrating on the surface”, she told me last Sunday. “Thanksgiving has to be in here (she tapped her breast) all year long, but now it is bubbling up.” What a remarkable realization wells up in this energetic senior woman.

Let’s join Miriam for these next several weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. Let’s collect lists of the many people, things and situations for which we have a clear or emerging gratitude.

Sacred Spaces –
What are your own sacred spaces - places you have had or need to live and grow, survive difficulties and stand in wonder-  places you go to, create, recognize. Holy places. Maybe churches, maybe outdoors. Who knows where? Do you?

Meaning Makers -
Who helps us understand the roller coaster ride that is called life? Who inspires us? Who has challenged us to be satisfied and grateful for life and who has taught us to be dissatisfied and thereby to be and do more?

Consensus builders-
Who are the ones in your world (or the big world) who help the future happen because they value compromise over rigidity?  How do they do it? What lessons are in it for you?

Whole Makers-
The primary wholemaker, according to theologian Ilia Delio, is Jesus. “He brings together what is fragmented and divided,” she says.  Who stands in His shadow for you? Who creates unity while letting people be themselves?

This is not the usual  list of people, situations and things for which people are encouraged to be grateful. Got any more?
~Joan Sobala, SSJ


Here’s an invitation: On Wednesday, November 20th, our Fresh Winds conversation turns to our gay, lesbian, transsexual and bisexual brothers and sisters and how they are both church and received as church.  Originally, Bishop Clark was to lead our conversation. Regrettably  for him and us, he couldn’t be with us. Standing in for him are Mary Ellen and Casey Lopata , founders of Fortunate Families, and recognized national speakers about families of LGBT men and women.  Bring friends with you when you come to our motherhouse, 7 – 8.30 pm.