Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration recording

22nd Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration

"Resilience & Thanksgiving in Uncertainty"

On Monday, November 22, we celebrated with many traditions and cultures who came together to give thanks for one another, even in the midst of uncertainty and division. 

Through song, dance, prayer, and storytelling we shared gratitude with and for our West Michigan neighbors.

Please enjoy the event recording which will be available through the Thanksgiving weekend. 

A virtual freewill offering will be taken for the Afghan refugee resettlement work of Samaritas and Bethany Christian Services.

Kaufman's Weekly Interfaith Insight

"Gratitude and thanksgiving, fundamental to a fulfilling life" by Director Doug Kindschi

“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer.
And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”

These words from Maya Angelou open a recent book by church historian and author Diana Butler Bass, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks.  She makes it clear that she is not talking about sending thank you notes, or that “painful Thanksgiving dinner exercise in which no one eats until everyone at the table says something they are thankful for. … It feels more like a turkey hostage situation than a spiritual exercise in grace.”    

She goes on to explain the Western tradition of making gratitude a kind of “commodity of exchange – a transaction of debt and duty.”  You receive something, a birthday, Christmas, or Bar Mitzvah gift, but also receive the duty to respond with a thank you note or some expression of gratitude to the benefactor. Thanksgiving is more than sending thank you notes or responding to an individual gift.  

Instead, she offers an alternate structure where we acknowledge the gifts all around us every day. She writes, “The universe is a gift. Air, light, soil, and water are gifts.  Friendship, love, sex, and family are gifts.  We live on a gifted planet. Everything we need is here, with us. We freely respond to these gifts by choosing a life of mutual care.”

Read the entire article here


Weekly Watch - Thanksgiving Song

This past week’s Insight featured Mary Carpenter singing the Thanksgiving Song with these lyrics:

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered 'round this table
From far and near we travel home
Blessed that we are able

Grateful for this sheltered place
With light in every window
Saying, "Welcome, welcome, share this feast
Come in away from sorrow"

Father, mother, daughter, son
Neighbor, friend and friendless
All together everyone
In the gift of loving kindness

Grateful for what's understood
And all that is forgiven
We try so hard to be good
To lead a life worth living

Father, mother, daughter, son
Neighbor, friend and friendless
All together everyone
Let grateful days be endless

Grateful for each hand we hold
Gathered 'round this table

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