News from Thanks-Giving Square and The Thanks-Giving Foundation  |  November  2017

A Time for Thanksgiving

November is a time to be thankful; a time to remember and to embrace those who enrich our lives.

The Thanksgiving holiday celebrated each November in the United States is known worldwide as an American custom, but its roots extend far back into human history. As you celebrate the holiday with family and friends, here is a reminder of the origins of our country's celebration. 

The Pilgrims' First Harvest Feast

According to historical sources, the Pilgrims never held an autumnal Thanksgiving feast. The Pilgrims did have a feast in 1621 near Plymouth, Massachusetts, after their first harvest. This is the feast people often refer to as "The First Thanksgiving," and it  has become a model for the Thanksgiving celebration in the United States. More than likely, this first harvest feast was eaten outside, based on the fact that the colonists didn't have a building large enough to accommodate all the people who came. Native Americans definitely were among the invited guests, and it's possible, even probable, that turkey (roasted but not stuffed) and pumpkin in some form found their way to the table. 

A New World With Many Cultural Influences
In addition to thanksgiving traditions brought to North America by settlers from many parts of the world, some authorities link the American thanksgiving with the ancient Jewish observance of Sukkot in the fall, which expresses thanks to God for the bounty of the earth. Indeed, all the major world religions - including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam - have rituals, observances and liturgies that express thanks and gratitude to a higher power for the gift of life and its wonders.
Music Fills the Air

Have you stopped to listen to the music at Thanks-Giving Square? During lunch hours Monday through Friday Thanks-Giving Square serves as a performance space for local musicians.

PULSE Dallas is a Texas non-profit organization founded to enhance the downtown Dallas street experience through sponsored street artist performances. This community effort weaves together the various stakeholders in downtown - residents, businesses, and agencies - toward the goal of putting smiles on faces! PULSE Dallas was co-founded by David Wiley, a long-time downtown resident and attorney, an d Rachel Roberts, a community organizer and avid fan of downtown.
Above: Rabbi Debra Judith Robbins reads the Torah to members of the Interfaith Council during a recent congregational visit. 
Interfaith Engagement

The Interfaith Council of The Thanks-Giving Foundation is proud of community and faith engagements that are building bridges  and strengthening partnerships in the community.  

Some of the recent autumn activities have included a congregational visit to Temple Emanu-El Dallas,  a book review of Karen Armstrong's  Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life  led by Pastor George Mason, hosting international visitors, and conducting monthly meetings. The Interfaith Council always welcomes new members. Contact us if you would like to become involved. 
Upcoming Events
Tree Lighting and Multi-Faith Service
Faith & Grief Ministries 2018 Community Tree of Remembrance
December 5, 2017 | 6:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m.
Venue: Thanks-Giving Square

Pearl Harbor Day Remembrance
Faith & Grief Ministries 2018 Community Tree of Remembrance
December 7, 2017 | 12:00 p.m.
Venue: Thanks-Giving Square

Winter Festival of Faiths 
December 18, 2017 | 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Venue: Thanks-Giving Square

Longest Night Service // Multi-Faith Service
Faith & Grief Ministries 2018 Community Tree of Remembrance
December 21, 2017 | 6:30 p.m.
Venue: Thanks-Giving Square

40th Annual Merry TubaChristmas Concert 
Friday, December 22nd | 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. 
Venue: Thanks-Giving Square

Compassion Walk

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, the General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to "commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples."

On this day members of the Interfaith Council, Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square, Crow Collection of Asian Art, and Compassionate DFW gathered to promote peace in our city. A crowd first assembled at Klyde Warren Park and then walked together in unity to Thanks-Giving Square during this year's Compassion Walk.
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