The Spirit of Thanksgiving in an Ecumenical Context By Ayhan Ozer

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Thanksgiving Food
Thanksgiving Food

At no time of the year are the Americans more mindful of their heritage as one nation raised above all kinds of ethnic, racial and religious divisiveness than at Thanksgiving.

There is something humble and even soothing about Thanksgiving. Its focus is on goodness, family, and being together, rather than extravagance and a showcase.

This is a time of the year we are all mindful of our many blessings and conscious about where they come from. It is in that spirit that people gather in their homes or worship places to share in the goodwill and take part in this beloved tradition that has its roots deep in our history and deeper still in our hearts.

On this occasion, we manifest our gratitude to Divine Providence for the bounty he has showered upon this land, and upon us. We pray to God to bless the abundance created by the honest toils of minds, hands and bodies in this free land.

We are also grateful for the wisdom and understanding He has given us as people of different persuasions to live in harmony and in thanks for His countless blessings of freedom, peace and plenty. We pray that every heart be filled with the spirit of gratitude, praise, and love on this Thanksgiving.

Although we are a pluralistic society who have come from many countries, cultures and creeds, giving thanks can be a true bond of unity among us. We can reach out and join hands in gratitude for our individual freedom and faith, and the communal peace and prosperity of our nation when so many in this world have neither.

The wonderful thing about this country is that each of us has a very different and valuable heritage. Our past and our ancestry teach us, comfort us, guide us and enrich us all in a different yet very special ways. Weaving a special thread from the past through the present is what Thanksgiving all about.

Let us thank God for the benediction He has bestowed on us and our families, friends and neighbours, and for the joy of this very occasion.

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Ayhan Ozer
Pennington, NJ

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