The Oasis - November 22, 2023

Author: Rev. Eric Dupee
November 22, 2023

             In her book Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, Robin Wall Kimmerer described the way her school week began among the Onondaga people. She wrote, “Here the school week begins and ends not with the Pledge of Allegiance, but with the Thanksgiving Address, a river of words as old as the people themselves, known more accurately in the Onondaga language as the Words That Come Before All Else. This ancient order of protocol sets gratitude as the highest priority.”
            I’ve heard and seen versions of this address over the years. It begins with these words.

           Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to l                live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks            to each other as People. Now our minds are one.

           I love this idea of beginning with thanks. It’s how I view worship. We begin the first day of the
week by giving thanks to God for all God’s gifts. I try to remember to begin my meals with Thanksgiving. Giving thanks might be the best way to begin any project or meeting or encounter with a friend.
          Today, I’m getting a head start on giving thanks. As I prepare for Sunday worship, and as I clean and cook in preparation for guests tomorrow, I’m mindful of how good I have it. I give thanks for family and friends. I’m grateful for my work and for all the members and friends of First Parish Church. I give thanks for my baptism, the defining moment of my life, at which time I officially became part of the body of Christ. For what are you grateful this Thanksgiving?

Peace be with you,


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