Monday, November 19, 2007
It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is around the corner when everything looks like Christmas. Last week it snowed everyday and the stores started putting up decorations as people started their Christmas shopping. In the Czech Republic, Thanksgiving falls around the same time as Halloween and All Saints day. They celebrate by decorating the graves of their loved ones and both Catholic and Protestant churches have special Sunday worships services. It's recognized by many people, but not all people.
In the spirit of the season, we're having a Thanksgiving Dinner this Thursday in the church for families of the English Classes and the congregation. Like a normal American Thanksgiving celebration, many people who are not necessarily related will come together as one family. I think it has a lot of meaning for our two groups, because the people of the church don’t really know the people of the English classes. I feel like there's a kind of parallel between what has been called "the first Thanksgiving in America" when the Pilgrims came together with the Native Americans and our first big dinner between people from the English classes and the church. Not that we're enemies, but we definitely feel like two separate groups of people who use the same place. This will be a time where we can all come together at the same time and get to know one another.
We'll begin the dinner with a short reflection on Thanksgiving and then head upstairs and sit at the tables in groups. We'll have a round of saying what we're thankful for, enjoy the dinner, and then maybe have some games for the kids while the parents sit and chat. Amazingly enough we already have 65 people signed up to come and that's with a commitment to bring something. Wow! It's going to be big. I have some good reliable women helping me with organization and food, and I'm hoping to have some of the youth entertaining the kids after dinner. Please remember us in your prayers this week. My hope is that despite the inevitable flukes that will come, the night will run smoothly and the people will feel at home in this building and with the people around them. I want them to experience that Thanksgiving is really about being with family, whether they're your relatives or just people you enjoy. I know that this feeling also goes along with Christmas, but I think the difference comes in what we do with this feeling. At Christmastime we focus on sharing that feeling of love and acceptance. On Thanksgiving we say thank you, thank you to our friends and family who love us and thank you to the One who created us and brought us all together. Thank you for following this blog and keeping all of us in Policka, CZ in your thoughts and prayers. Happy Thanksgiving! (Ještě něco)