Last Sunday, following service we had an important Community Meeting. It was so heartening to have 72 people stay for lunch ( salad made by our teens and pizza generously donated by Warren Lofftus) and to gather for the informational update.
Monte Buckhold presented facts, charts and insight that helped us to clarify and understand our financial picture as a community. Joni and Connie added comments and information and answers to several questions from the floor.
Then I had been encouraged to share ‘ my vision’ for a spiritual center and I was happy to do so. I was comfortable and bold enough to share not only the little details of day-to-day operations, I also included the bigger picture of the vision as I see/saw it. And then, I humbly closed with the extraordinary song that a dear friend of mine, singer-songwriter, Margaret Owens wrote for me years ago called, “Grow A Church.” Not a dry-eye or dry-heart in the house. Thank you, Margaret.
Then on Monday,Don and I left for a few days to celebrate our second anniversary returning in time for a quiet Thanksgiving together. And tonight, we shared our first annual Thanksgiving Potluck and Taize service at CNTCSL. It was lovely to share bountiful and beautiful leftovers with each other prior to sharing bountiful and beautiful prayers together.
Attending tonight was member, Rick Mazzucchi who yesterday shared with a few of us his personal thoughts about this Thanksgiving holiday. I asked Rick if I could include his essay on this blog and he consented. Please enjoy this as you enjoy your holiday week.
Thoughts of Thanksgiving and Transcendence
There is a certain transcendent power of being thankful that comes from an understanding of the unknowable. This may seem oxymoronic, but what I am speaking of is that humble appreciation that we are the sum total of what our creator and our communities make us. Without the gifts of life, love, and compassion it would be difficult if not impossible to fully experience Thanksgiving. While you may rightly believe that you are fully responsible for who and what you are, you are only able to be that because of what you were given and taught – things for which everyone can be thankful, even though you might presently feel sad or victimized by your present circumstances. Each day offers new opportunities to be thankful we can make amends for past misdeeds of our human frailty.
For some it may be that the world is a cold and bitter place, full of unfairness, violence, and fear. The transcendent power of thanks for such an awareness can be life changing. Yes there are those times and circumstances where we may fail to be all that we should be, but the thankful knowing of such facts can be the seed for making things better. As I reflect upon those circumstances I find it helpful to remember that everything is created twice, first as an idea, and then as a physical or emotional manifestation. All of us have within the power to re-create and indeed recreate as we redesign any outmoded or non-life supporting ideas.
Even in the most desperate of circumstances the act of thanksgiving offers transcendence to a better place. One is able to put oneself on a higher moral plane than ones abusers and feel and experience the joy of living righteously. While most of us have the freedom and gifts to share wonderful feelings, many choose not to, out of shyness, fear of rejection, or a lack of humility. If you are of that ilk, I entreat, encourage, and challenge you to express yourself and make our world a better place in the process. Yes you may feel inadequate, cheated, or slighted by life, but we all have the ability to rise above such feelings and express gratitude, if it may only be only for the knowledge of what we lack. Such insights are the wellspring of intuition and opportunity to work with what we do have to make things better.
I hope you have or had a most wonderful Thanksgiving day, in the knowledge that you are a gifted child of God and the universe. There is nothing you need do to make the world a better place other than to be thankful for your place in the world knowing anything is possible when you put your mind to it.
Richard P. Mazzucchi