Every November folks across the U.S. preoccupy themselves with planning the Thanksgiving holiday: who to invite, where to gather, and how to cook the turkey. This wonderful annual celebration brings us together not only to enjoy family, friends, and food but also to give thanks to God for the abundance in our lives.
Another striking effect of Thanksgiving Day is its ability to inspire us to give to those less fortunate, to those in need. Many communities and churches around the country sponsor special free turkey-and-all-the-fixin’s dinners for the homeless, or give away baskets of traditional holiday foods to poor families.
This generous spirit just seems to pour from us Americans, when we contemplate our relative wealth to the rest of the global population. In fact, I just read an article stating that the United States has reclaimed its place as the world’s most generous nation, according to the World Giving Index 2013, an annual global survey conducted by the Charities Aid Foundation. Based on 2012 Gallup survey data from 135 countries, the index looked at three measures of giving—the percentage of people who gave money, volunteered their time, and/or helped a stranger in need in a typical month—and found that the U.S. topped the list. How blessed we are to live in this land, where kindness and caring are part of our way of life!
We are doubly blessed at Holy Ghost Church, it seems to me. First, we have an ongoing monthly food ministry to the homeless crowd that gathers every Sunday on John Street. Second, we also have our “Myrrhbearing Women” who steadfastly remember the members of our own parish who are no longer able to attend church services because of age, illness, or disabilities. It gave me great joy to see them prepare special baskets during the Thanksgiving Holiday season, and distribute them with the help of some “Myrrhbearing Men” in our parish!
Thanks to all of you who continue to support these two ministries with your cash donations. Thanks for being part of making us “the world’s most generous nation” and a truly giving parish.