We are a long way from that first difficult year in 1621 when Edward Winslow called the handful of surviving members of the Plymouth Colony to a celebration of thanks to be shared with their Wampanoag neighbors. By the time of their gathering, a celebration of a successful harvest sufficient to see barely half of the original group having crossed the Atlantic on the Mayflower through the winter. That initial gathering, a desperate gasp of gratitude for survival, was repeated when other events merited a joyful response – the arrival of the ship Anne two years later with reinforcements for the struggling colonists, and selected regional festivals in the years that followed.

In 1863, Sarah Hale petitioned Abraham Lincoln to institute a national day of Thanksgiving to celebrate the preservation of the Union during the struggle of Civil War. (Ms. Hale, editor of a then-popular magazine titled “Gody’s Ladies Book,” was best known for writing the familiar ditty, “Mary had a little lamb…”)

Our Thanksgivings tend to be more about abundance than subsistence, and are frequently marked by family gatherings (either joyful or contentious), leisure, parades, sport and the initiation of a season of over indulgence.

We pray that this Thanksgiving you may find a few moments to focus on the long heritage of those who have preceded us in gratitude for blessings perceived and received, and a survey of all that graces our own lives with the richness of Divine grace,

Taizé Worship at St. Luke’s!

Taizé is a world famous Christian ecumenical community established in France in 1940. It is famous for a simple and dignified form of worship featuring simple songs, sacred readings old and new and times of silence and meditation.

On December 2 (and on the first Sunday of every month), St. Luke’s will offer a worship experience based on the Taizémodel at 6:30 pm for the entire community. We hope that you will consider inviting a friend or family member to join you for this wonderful experience of peaceful and enriching worship.

Things You Need to Know

The Church Office will be closed on Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, and Friday the 23rdof November. We will reopen on Monday the 26th.

Our Wall of Honor is under construction in the hallway outside Fellowship Hall: this is where we are hanging the certificates of our members who have taken the Safe Church online training offered without cost by the Diocese of Oregon. Get your name up there! Go to https://www.diocese-oregon.org/ministries/safe-church/, scroll down to the blue link marked “Online Training,” and spend a little time standing up for the safety of all people in our church.

Bishop Hanley’s Visitation will take place on December 9. He will meet with those being Confirmed and Received prior to the service and will spend time with the Vestry following the coffee hour and reception.

Sandy Stumpf is looking for people to help with hosting coffee hours. This time of casual conversation, cheerful greeting and calorie consumption is a vital part of our Sunday mornings and we’d be poorer without those who host our gatherings. Call the Church Office or Sandy if you’re willing to help – and why wouldn’t you be?

Many thanks to Joan King and her intrepid band of helpers on the Parish Life Committee for arranging last Sunday’s Pot Luck luncheon. As always, the board groaned, the guests enjoyed and we were richer for the sharing.

If you weren’t with us last Sunday, please make every effort to get your pledge card into the Church Office as soon as possible so that we may adequately prepare for the year ahead.

As to the year behind, please make every effort to bring your pledge up to date as soon as possible. Your parish (and your tax accountant) will thank you.