Re-Thinking Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving this week! Here is our congregational group at the county Food Bank last Saturday, volunteering to help pack Thanksgiving Dinners. Hundreds of Dinners are handed out each year by the Food Bank.

There are so many lovely aspects of this holiday – being Thankful and Grateful for what you have, a simple celebration of abundance and harvest and family and friends that has resisted over-commercialism.

But it’s also important to re-think this holiday and the way we teach about it and celebrate it in light of colonialism and on-going racism.

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Last Sunday, our Religious Education classes started a conversation about others ways to think about Thanksgiving.

Our youngest children (preschool-Kindergarten) had the story The Thanksgiving Door by Debby Atwell. In a gentle way, this story raises questions about hospitality, immigration, and what this holiday really celebrates (and who it “belongs” to).

In our Labyrinth Learning class for 1st-5th graders, we watched two videos showing Native American perspectives on Thanksgiving, one from Teen Vogue  and another from AJ+.

I encourage you to continue this conversation this week with your families. Yes, celebrate Gratitude and be thankful for the abundance we experience. Yes, remember those who are in need through service and generous giving. And also continue this conversation about colonialism and racism in our society.

Resources to Help You:

 

And you can also use that gathering of friends and family around the table to engage in a conversation about racism. This video gives tips for talking about Black Lives Matter with white family and friends, and this script for talking about racism with family was written for Asian Americans but there are good tips there for other races and ethnicities as well.

Wishing you all a Blessed Thanksgiving.

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