By VERNA BROCK
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with friends and family. In a world that often seems dark and threatening, there is also much for which we can give thanks.
Among those things, I am grateful for Pastor Steve’s healing from knee surgery. I am grateful for baby Sebastian Mosely-Bennett’s arrival home for good. Yes, he will need frequent visits to Shands to monitor his progress, but he is now officially able to call Crawfordville his home. I am also grateful David Hinson is on the mend after a visit to the Emergency Room and surgery. Please continue to pray for them all, as well as our nation.
This Saturday, Dec. 2, will be the annual Christmas Bazaar at Wakulla United Methodist Church. Held in the Social Hall from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Bazaar will culminate with the drawing for the ladies’ much-coveted quilt and two matching pillows.
Coming up this Sunday, Dec. 3, is a special first Sunday occasion. We will have service at 11:15 a.m. (instead of the regular 10 a.m. service) with Communion to allow Pastor Steve and Woodville United Methodist Church members to join us for a holiday celebration dinner with all the fixins. Please plan to join us for great fellowship and feasting.
Like many of you, I was looking forward to having family for Thanksgiving dinner, including Alan, up from Pinellas County for a few days. So many of our collective celebrations revolve around sharing gratitutde for our many blessings, both material and spiritual. What memories do you have, when thinking about your blessings?
When I think of Thanksgiving, my thoughts always begin with my earliest awareness of the day, as a first grade pupil at Thunder Bay Elementary School in Alpena, Michigan.
By mid-November all the beautiful fall foliage was beginning to fade. The lengthening nights had moved from frost to flurries to actual sticking snow. Inside the classroom, cozy and warm, the air was scented with hundreds of sack lunches of apples, bananas and peanut butter sandwiches.
Each child heard the story of merciful Indians sharing their bounty with near-starving Pilgrims for the first time. The inaugural Thanksgiving to God for His gifts would be commemorated in our homes in a few days and we excitedly looked forward to the occasion.
Turning our attention to fashioning black and white construction paper into Pilgrim hats with gold buckles, we learned of Little Goody Two Shoes and Miles Standish. We turned dozens of brightly colored paper feathers into turkeys and Indian headdresses. Every day we colored sheets of of leaves and Pilgrims, all to be carried home to our parents, clutched in our hands the Wednesday before the anticipated long weekend of feasting and gratitude.
Subsequent years celebrations were repeated variations on these themes, but it always seemed a truer Thanksgiving was had when shared with others. Whether with friends or family, the holiday seemed more meaningful when we broke bread with neighbors or relatives.
The year my family joined the Coast Guardsmen at the mess hall at the MuskegonLight Station on Lake Michigan was one of the best, as we shared traditional delicacies from all corners of the nation. Later in life, my family shared the hosting rotation of celebration with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins every year in Florida. With growing maturity came a deepening appreciation of the true meaning of Thanksgiving.
I have come to remember fondly the first Thanksgiving my husband and I prepared, and hosted, as newlyweds, still attending FSU and facing exams, we couldn’t travel to our respective families. Instead, we invited two friends similarly marooned in Tallahassee to join us for dinner and football.
May we never fail to celebrate the gifts we have, and give to those who have not. Happy Thanksgiving to all!