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Thanksgiving 2023: Gratitude and Gratefulness

Be still, my soul, and steadfast.
Earth and heaven both are still watching
though time is draining from the clock
and your walk, that was confident and quick,
has become slow.

So, be slow if you must, but let
the heart still play its true part.
Love still as once you loved, deeply
and without patience. Let God and the world
now you are grateful. That the gift has been given.

Mary Oliver, “The Gift”

Einstein Image For Thanksgiving Message
Artwork by
Greg McGee

Dear Saint John’s Prep Community,

As we prepare for Thanksgiving and the rush to Christmas that will commence immediately after, we have a brief moment of quiet to reflect on the deeper meaning of the day and the Advent season that will follow.

More than any other time of year, this season draws us to consider both gift and gratitude – each inextricably intertwined with the other. When we think of gifts, we often think of objects wrapped and given. Things. But the root of the word gift is give. A verb. Gift and giving derive their power as actions, most often expressed in the form of friendship, solidarity, solace, empathy, and, most importantly, love. Giving is not a time or date or event-bounded activity, but rather a disposition toward life and community that involves the whole self. Still, powerful as they are, gift and giving remain incomplete without gratitude. Gratitude and thankfulness complete gift and giving. We are grateful for the opportunity to give love and grateful for the opportunity to receive it. Mary Oliver’s poem beautifully expresses that relationship and captures the essential truth not only of this glorious season but of all seasons.

On this Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the gift of our students and the curiosity, joy, and energy they bring to school each day. I am grateful for the gift of our marvelous faculty and staff who create remarkable educational experiences for our students. And I am grateful for the gift of the parents, family and friends who support our students and the school every day throughout the year. Family, community, gratitude, and love are the gifts that bind us. And for that, we give thanks.

Blessings for a wonderful Thanksgiving and Advent!

With gratitude,

Jon McGee
Head of School

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ben ’19, Nick ’18, Kate ’23, Andrew ’15, Ann, and Jon McGee