Posted by: skokiecentralchurch | November 21, 2007

2007.11.21 Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service

Ecumenical Thanksgiving Service

November 21st, 2007

       One of the things I am especially thankful for this year, is the privilege of serving in a community as culturally and religiously diverse as Skokie.

        Here’s why.  I grew up in a small town in West Kentucky in the 1950’s and ‘60’s.  Where I lived, almost everyone was white, and while you could throw a rock in almost any direction and hit a Baptist; others, such as Lutherans – not to mention Catholics and Jews – were exotic religious species.  

        In my junior year in high school – 1968 – my church enabled me to travel to Washington, D.C., and New York City.  My eyes were opened to the wide world of people and religions and cultures, and — you know, once you’ve seen the bright lights of the big city, how are they going to keep you down on the farm.

        In the years since, even as I have practiced my own faith, I have learned from others. I have sweated through Buddhist ceremonies in China, sat cross-legged with Tibetan monks in the Himalayas, marveled at Hindu temples in India, heard the cry of the muezzin in Africa, and read the Tenach in Hebrew. I believe that by gentling bumping into, and appreciatively learning from each other, our own religious understandings are not threatened, but enriched and enhanced.  You may follow your way and I follow mine, but we are no less mortal brothers and sisters journeying together through time and space on this beautiful blue planet.

So, this Thanksgiving, for the opportunity of worshiping and giving thanks together with you tonight, I give thanks.  May such opportunities increase!


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