Dear Church Family – We will celebrate Thanksgiving with a Combined Worship Service on November 24th with our friends and neighbors at the First Universalist Society of Hartland, Four Corners. Please bring a food offering for the Welcome table during worship. Your food offerings of non-perishables (think canned or boxed) or hardy produce (think potatoes, squash, carrots) support the Hartland Food Shelf and the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.
The Service at the UU is followed by a brunch to benefit the youth mission trip – please support our youth! And then at Noon, there will be a presentation about green burial (see details below). So, yes a full Sunday and a fulfilling Sunday to start Thanksgiving week!
I hear many people say that Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday – the food, the tradition, the gathering of family and the lack of commercialism. I think too, that Thanksgiving is a favorite Holiday because at its core is the focus on giving thanks – being grateful – and recognizing the blessings of the day. We pause on Thanksgiving to give thanks intentionally, joyfully and communally. That makes Thanksgiving a pretty special holiday. And perhaps we can learn that the gift of Thanksgiving – of intentional giving thanks – can be experienced in our lives everyday.
It is, of course, not joyful for everyone. For some folks, traditional holidays are reminders of who is not at the table, of failed expectations and of loss. For some folks, Thanksgiving is a reminder of scarcity rather than abundance, of emptiness rather than fullness. So, in your celebrations, may you be moved to generosity and welcome, knowing that there are those who need to be included, to be fed, to be prayed for and to be cared for. And if you are someone for whom Thanksgiving is hard, may you be comforted by the love and the grace of God and by held by this community.
Hope to see you in church – Lucia
Green Burials & A Local Conservation Cemetery Project
A Workshop taking place in the First Universalist Society (UU) Sanctuary
at Noon on Sunday November 24 (following the Combined Thanksgiving Service & Youth Brunch)
Please join us for a special workshop on Sunday November 24, offering an introduction to environmentally responsible burial practices, your options and choices for burial beyond the standard services offered by funeral homes, and to the possibility of a Conservation Cemetery opening in our region soon.
Our guest speaker is a nationally renowned educator and consultant on green burials and conservation cemeteries, Lee Webster.
Lee Webster is the founder and president of New Hampshire Funeral Resources, Education, and Advocacy. She is a writer, editor, public speaker, conservationist, hospice volunteer, and avid gardener. She has trained as a professional a home funeral guide and serves as a leader in national organizations including the National Home Funeral Alliance, the Green Burial Council, the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance, and the Conservation Burial Alliance.
She is the author of several home funeral and green burial articles and books, and has been featured in articles and interviews in various media outlets. She has spoken nationally to various communities, including hospice organizations, hospitals, libraries, senior facilities, schools and universities, faith communities, and others. Her latest book is Changing Landscapes: Exploring the growth of ethical, compassionate, and environmentally sustainable green funeral service.