Sunday, November 20, 2011


Peter and I have been going to the Unitarian church services over the last 30 or so years while we have vacationed  here on Nantucket.  For many years the main attraction of these services was the minister, Ted Anderson, whose sermons were always thought-provoking and inspirational.   We liked Ted so much that we asked him to officiate at our marriage.   I'll never forget that intimate ceremony in our Surfside road home.  When we moved here in August we had already decided to start attending the Unitarian Church on a regular basis.  Ted has retired but remains on-island and we still have opportunities to interact with him.......

We have been enjoying the new minister very much and have felt extremely welcomed by the fellowship as well.   Today's service was about, predictably enough, Thanksgiving,,,, and much of  the morning focused on the ways and whys of giving thanks.   The children in the congregation set out with their wagons through the town to collect nonperishable foods for the Island Food Shelf, the singing involved hymns of thanks...... When it came to the sermon, however, David (the minister)  turned the theme around just a little... or maybe a lot, depending upon how you look at it.  He talked about the idea of "being in thanks" rather than "giving thanks"...... it sounds kind of simple but it made me think about the differences between the "being" and the "giving"....  "Being" to me implies more permanence, a kind of natural, on-going, almost subconscious  state.  Giving, on the other hand, is something that you have to think's something you consciously do and it doesn't necessarily mean that you are truly a thankful person in the complete sense of the word.  

 "Thanksbeing" is a state that we strive for and part of that striving usually involves the giving of thanks.   It feels to me like this state would be peaceful as well as joyful.  And, in the real world, if more of us achieved the state of "Thanksbeing" just imagine the decrease in whining and complaining.... not to mention how it might impact the planet's political culture.... now that would be something really worth striving for..... 

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