According to history, most first settlements in the New World survived the first winter with the help of the local inhabitants of this continent.  From Plymouth Rock to Jamestown, people shared food and taught the foreigners how to survive in this strange new land.  Unfortunately, we didn’t always repay that kindness with gratitude and support.

One thing that is necessary for all of us to learn is that we are all interconnected.  We do not survive and succeed as individuals!  We need each other, and we need many people, whom we do not even realize have made a contribution to our growth and development.  We all have neighbors, teachers, church family, parents and extended family who contributed to our growth.

God created each of us to be an important part of the complete creation.  We are interconnected.  No one is disposable.  We need, as Children of God, to reject the individualism that is prominent in modern society today for the Community mindset which is described in our faith tradition.

Now that we are in the month of November, we will look for the family gatherings around the Thanksgiving table.  We will travel, prepare a great meal that has all the foods of our tradition.  We will tell stories, play and relax together.  But I ask you to do something more to truly celebrate Thanksgiving.  Remember the families that will not have a feast for Thanksgiving, the people who may wonder how they will even have a meal on Thanksgiving.

In the past we have found a family to help.  This year let us see how much food we can gather to give to the food pantry.  Maybe we can help feed many people.  We all remember the story of the little boy with five fish and two loaves who offered them to Jesus who used them to feed a multitude.  Every Sunday we take a loaf and a cup and feed the congregation.  Starting the first Sunday of November, let’s build a mountain of food in front of the Communion Table to feed a multitude of people in our community.  We shouldn’t stop there. 

One month after Thanksgiving is Christmas.  We need to do it again.  We can also expand our reach to the entire world by raising money for cows, sheep, bees, ducks and trees through Heifer International.  We can not only collect food for local needs that will provide short term help, but through Heifer International, we can once again provide long term support.

Maybe this year we can be some of the unseen brothers and sisters who help someone else reach the next step in their life.  Let us be a real part of the One Family, God’s Family.

Shalom,  Darrell