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November 2020 E-News
The Unifying Grace of Gratitude
"When we give cheerfully and accept gratefully, everyone is blessed."
Maya Angelou

Thanksgiving week is usually when we hear a lot about how to avoid those uncomfortable political conversations with your Uncle Ralph over dinner. So it is an interesting year: On the one hand, the divisiveness is only worse in our country. On the other, most of us won’t be gathering with Uncle Ralph.

Either way, what is often missing in these conversations is how Thanksgiving can be a vehicle for unity as much as division. The common ground is often found in gratitude. 

My across-the-street neighbor has different political views than me. This has been true for as long as we have lived here—over twenty years now.  Every voting season our yard signs cancel each other out, as do our votes. We rarely talk.

If we did, here are a few gratitude questions I’d like to ask him: What do you love about our town? Since your wife passed away, what are you most grateful for about your many years together? What, or who, makes your life better these days? What is a challenging situation from your past that you are grateful for? What did you gain or learn from that experience?

As I said, we don’t talk much so I doubt I’ll ever get a chance to ask him these questions. But even wondering how he would answer helps me feel more connected to him. My hunch is that our shared gratitude would unify us in ways that our political yard signs do not. 

With Gratitude,
Doug sig

The Blessed Ones

When autumn colors fade to brown, and the season for giving thanks is standing on our doorstep, I think of you. All the countless men and women who give us so much.

You are family and friends, good neighbors, and trusted members of our community. You are the medical professionals who work in our hospitals and the auto mechanics who work on our cars. You educate our children, bag our groceries and sanitize our facilities. You are the first ones to show up in time of emergency and the last ones to take a break.  

You are the frontline heroes in the year of Covid-19.

It is through your kindness, your dedication and perseverance that we are held together.

And to those precious souls who are no longer with us, we honor your spirits and draw strength from your cherished memories that sustain us when our hearts are breaking.

So with deep appreciation and a grateful heart I offer up a silent prayer and say...
Thank God for You!

Alice Barbera
Reflection Question
How might gratitude unify rather than divide a relationship in your life?
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Doug Wysockey-Johnson doug@lumunos.org    
Dan Quinlan dan@lumunos.org 
Rebecca Perry-Hill becca@lumunos.org
Alice Barbera alice@lumunos.org