November 23, 2015,

Dear Friends and Family of the Diocese of Eau Claire,

As we look forward to Thanksgiving Day, what does it mean to be thankful? Thankfulness is an Anglo-Saxon word that is of German origin. Gratitude is the French and Latin equivalent. Both words are everyday concepts that are appreciative of the goodness, courtesy and caring of others.

While Thanksgiving Day definitely considers the kindness of others, its historical context from the Pilgrims and others is the thankful response to God in providing life in a new world. With starvation, exposure to elements, and warfare as obvious alternatives, early European settlers in North America were thankful to God for survival. In time they were flourishing, and it was appropriate to thank God for the good things that had happened.

In the midst of family, food, and entertainment, it is right to stop and give thanks to God for what we have. There are always challenges, problems, concerns, but they can wait for another day. Thanksgiving is meant to take a time out from the issues that always confront us. This week let’s celebrate with joy and delight in how many ways God has blessed us. Happy Thanksgiving! With my love and best wishes, I am,

Your brother in Christ,