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My Thanksgiving is Perpetual

Head of School Jon McGee shared the following Thanksgiving message with our families this week. We hope you and your family have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
We are grateful for your support!

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. 
Henry David Thoreau

Be present in all things and thankful for all things. 
Maya Angelou

Dear Prep Community,

References to food or gatherings at table abound in the Bible, particularly in the Gospels. Meal gatherings – some convivial (the wedding in Cana), some including large numbers of people (the feeding of the multitude), some related to redemptive moments (the story of the prodigal son), and one essential to the message of death and resurrection (the Last Supper) – were central to Jesus’ message and ministry. Outside of the story of the loaves and fishes, though, little attention is paid to the kind of food served or how it was prepared. Instead, the meal-time gatherings dotted throughout the Gospels serve to frame a lesson, a metaphor, or a larger purpose. Food is context for community, for learning, and, ultimately, for love.

Thanksgiving is popularly characterized by the food that traditionally fills our tables on this day. Over the years, I have marveled that the Thanksgiving meal seems to take eight hours to prepare and eight hours to clean up, but only eight minutes or so to ravenously consume (at least in my large-family experience!). However, on reflection, that sells vastly short the point of Thanksgiving. As in so many biblical accounts expressed through the meal ministry of Jesus, food simply provides context for community: a time to express gratitude for the many gifts we can count in our lives, to celebrate joyfully with family and friends, and to create and experience traditions that shape who we are as individuals and as family. Food brings us together. But family, community, gratitude, and love bind us. And for that, we give thanks.

As we prepare to express the gratitude of this Thanksgiving, I again offer this prayer to our community:

Creator God,
Thank you for the gifts of creation and community, woods and water, friendship, and fellowship
As we prepare for Thanksgiving and begin the Advent season, we pray
For faith in a world where many walk in fear; may all be healed
For food in world where many walk in hunger; may all be fed
For light in world that knows too much darkness; may all find peace
For family in a world where many walk alone; may all be loved

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Blessings for a joyous Thanksgiving!

Jon McGee
Head of School
Saint John’s Preparatory School