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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Happy Thanksgiving!
Thursday, November 22 2001

Thanksgiving—an attitude of gratitude

Some observations for consideration without meaning to advance a position or positions....

Thanksgiving is arguably the most important exclusively American holiday. Though Canada has its own version in a different month, Thanksgiving is the only holiday enacted by the American government (rather than church or other specifically religious entity) that provides a four-day weekend for most workers in the public sector (governmental), industrial, and educational segments of the economy.

Though it pales economically alongside Christmas, Thanksgiving is big business for the food industry, as was attested last year when my state's two largest foodstore chains quickly settled a labor despute just before Thanksgiving rather than lose much of its powerpunch by working through the feast week understaffed. Though Memorial Day, another government-declared holiday, also relies on religion in its celebrations, Thanksgiving is the quintessential coalescing of religion and government in our system. Though more and more the religion observed may be NFL and intercollegiate football, government still openly encourages, and in many of its installations sponsors, religious observances on this specially designated day.

Imitating thanksgiving celebrations described in the Old Testament after Israel's deliverances, the American Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 to mark a bountiful harvest and a year of survival in the New World's hostile environment. That event was imitated widely in the original colonies and states, until President Abraham Lincoln made it a national holiday in 1863.

Though all religious communities in America are encouraged to observe Thanksgiving with special services, it works best in the denominations, like the Pilgrims and Puritans (later called Congregationalists) and their peers like Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, Christians/Disciples, Brethren, and their many smaller counterparts (Nazarene, Alliance, Church of God and Holiness, to mention Blacklick Valley's examples) who have no binding traditional church calendar. More traditional churches like Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, and Orthodox consider their weekly communion to be thanksgiving (which is the meaning of the word "eucharist"), so an additional Thanksgiving service seems more redundant or less needful to them.

Nevertheless, virtually all American religious groups encourage at least home observance of Thanksgiving Day through feasting and offering family prayers, and reinforce the meaning of its attitude of gratitude year-round.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Kids say the funniest things (fourth in series)

This comes from a Catholic elementary school. Kids were asked questions about the Old and New Testaments. The following statements about the Bible were written by children. They have not been retouched or corrected (incorrect spelling has been left in).

16. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager.

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17. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption.

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18. St. John the blacksmith dumped water on his head.

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19. Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, "a man doth not live by sweat alone."

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20. It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tombstone off the entrance.

—Sent by Sallie Covolo

I am thankful for...

the partner who hogs the covers every night,
because he/she is not out with someone else

the teenager who is not doing dishes but is
watching TV, because that means he/she is at home and not on the streets

for the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed

for the mess to clean after a party,
because it means that I have been surrounded by friends

for the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means I have enough to eat

for my shadow that watches me work, because it means I am in the sunshine

for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need
cleaning, and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home

for all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means
that we have freedom of speech

for the parking spot I find at the far end of the
parking lot, because it means I am capable of walking and that I have
been blessed with transportation.

for my huge heating bill, because it means I am warm

for the lady behind me in church that sings off key, because it means that I can hear

for the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means I have clothes to wear

for weariness and aching muscles at the end of
the day, because it means I have been capable of working hard

for the alarm that goes off in the early morning
hours, because it means that I am alive

and finally...

for too much e-mail, because it means I have friends who are
thinking of me.

—Sender unknown

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