565: Welcome to a Week of Thankfulness … Help Us Spread a Word of Hope?

or thousands of years, Psalm 101 has expressed the thankfulness of billions. This is scripture for Jews and Christians—and all the world’s great faiths uphold this code of compassion, justice and appreciation.
    Here’s one thing we’re thankful for right now: ReadTheSpirit is joining with the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Karen Armstrong and many others as partners in the worldwide “Charter for Compassion,” an affirmation of this same timeless truth we share.
    We’re also thankful for all the terrifically talented writers who have contributed their time and their stories to the pages of ReadTheSpirit magazine. Just look at our “10 Best Bets for Holiday Shopping” last week and you’ll find people like Father Thomas Keating and Barbara Brown Taylor contributing richly to the mix of stories we’re able to share with you. For this, we say: Thank you!

We want to give you another gift—if you haven’t thought about this already.
    Are you a regular reader of Stephanie Fenton’s weekly column, “What’s the Spiritual Season?” Each Monday, Stephanie reports a series of short, fascinating news stories about that week’s religious holidays, spiritual customs and important milestones.
    Here’s the gift: We welcome you to take news items from Stephanie’s column and send them to your friends, republish them in your newsletter or repost them on your Web site. Some groups already do this on a regular basis. It’s a quick way to share intriguing, cross-cultural news with your own community.
    All we ask is that you carry a simple tag line at the bottom that says: (Originally published at readthespirit.com)

    HERE is a link to Stephanie’s column for this week, which includes an overview of the Hajj—an important annual celebration for more than 1 billion people around the world. Stephanie always adds fascinating links to other resources, including—in this column—a first-person memoir from an earlier Hajj by Muslim leader Victor Begg.
    Her column this week has a half dozen news stories, culminating in a look at the First Sunday of Advent for Western Christians.
    What does Stephanie have to share about Thanksgiving? Well, here is her short news story on the holiday …

THURSDAY, come prepared to gather ’round the table for good conversation and lots of delicious food—it’s Thanksgiving! (All Recipes serves up plenty of delicious ideas to fill your table.)
    On this day, millions of people will heap their plates in honor of the
renowned meal shared by Pilgrims and Wampanoag Native Americans in
1621, according to History.com. It was more than two centuries later when Abraham Lincoln
finally declared the last Thursday in November as the Thanksgiving
holiday in America. (Check out the History News Network for “The Top 10 Myths About Thanksgiving.”)
The original “Thanksgiving” holiday was not actually a “thanksgiving”
at all. The English colonists celebrated multiple days of thanksgiving
throughout the year as part of their religious tradition. During these days of thanksgiving, Pilgrims would spend time praying in a serene manner—not
feasting joyously with friends. Check out the Pilgrim Hall Museum online for an intriguing article on Religious Controversies in Plymouth Colony. ALSO, Pilgrim Hall gives a great description of the Pilgrims’ feast.
    Despite some Pilgrims’ desires to flee England because of religious
persecution, the colonists did hold to some English customs, one of
which was a celebration in honor of a successful harvest.  Following the Pilgrims’ first
successful harvest in the “new land,” the colonists and nearby Native
Americans celebrated with an enormous feast. (Scholastic gives a kid-friendly description. AND, if you’re looking for Thanksgiving craft ideas, stories, games and more, check out Kaboose.)
So where does turkey come into all of this? In the 19th century, Sarah
Josepha Hale (who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb”) composed a novel,
entitled “Northwood; a Tale of New England.” In her book, Hale
described an abundant Thanksgiving meal, complete with a turkey,
stuffing, pumpkin pie and the like. Americans have been gobbling up
turkey on this day ever since.
    (Originally published at readthespirit.com)

    That’s the theme all week at www.OurValues.org
    Please, take a moment to visit Dr. Wayne Baker’s experiment in “civil dialogue” with Americans from a broad range of backgrounds.

COME BACK throughout this week for more inspiring stories!
    Our Wednesday in-depth interview welcomes the beloved writer Kent Nerburn, whose “Neither Wolf Nor Dog” is a classic memoir on the complex cross-cultural challenges faced by American Indians. Kent is releasing a new book—completing this best-selling saga.

    Finally, here is an adaptation of Psalm 101 from the Contemporary English Version translation of the Bible. These lines might come in handy sometime this week:

    I will sing to you, LORD!
    I will celebrate your kindness and your justice.
    Please help me learn to do the right thing,
    And I will be honest and fair in my own kingdom.
    I refuse to be corrupt or to take part in anything crooked,
    And I won’t be dishonest or deceitful.
    Anyone who spreads gossip will be silenced,
    And no one who is conceited will be my friend.
    I will find trustworthy people to serve as my advisors,
    I will sing of your love and justice.

    I will sing to you, LORD!
    I will celebrate your kindness and your justice.


    This is a good time to sign up for our Monday-morning ReadTheSpirit Planner by Emailit’s
free and you can cancel it any time you’d like to do so. The Planner
goes out each week to readers who want more of an “inside track” on
what we’re seeing on the horizon, plus it’s got a popular “holidays”

    Not only do we welcome your notes—but our readers enjoy them as well. You can do this
anytime by clicking on the “Comment” links at the end of each story.
You also can Email ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm. We’re also reachable on Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, YouTube and other social-networking sites as well.
    (Originally published at https://readthespirit.com/)

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