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  • Writer's pictureTom Emanuel


“Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.” --Maya Angelou

Family and football. Turkey and gravy. Stuffing and sweet potatoes. And pie, we can’t forget the pie! (I’m a pecan pie kind of guy, myself.) It’s Thanksgiving in the United States this week, a cherished holiday for many of us, as we come together to be grateful and perhaps a little gluttonous as well.

There are those for whom the fourth Thursday in November is little cause for celebration, though. For some, holidays without a cherished loved one are times of deep sadness. For some, the prospect of going home for the holidays is anxiety-provoking and stressful. For some, it means reliving childhood traumas, abuse and emotional damage. For some, it means having to hide who they are and who they love, or risk being disowned by their own families.

For many of our Native relatives, Thanksgiving is a hard reminder too, not of the gifts they have been given, but of what the dominant U.S. culture has taken away from them over the centuries: land, culture, language, family.

Holidays are complex things. This Thanksgiving, I invite us to honor that complexity. Check in with loved ones who seem anxious or depressed. If you know someone who isn’t welcome at the family Thanksgiving table, on account of their sexual orientation or gender expression or anything else, invite them to sit at yours. Take a moment before dinner to remember and name the indigenous peoples who lived on this land for generations before Europeans came and are living here still. (That would be the Lakota and Dakota peoples for those of us celebrating in Watertown.)

Most of all, know that whatever emotions you may be experiencing this week, your feelings are valid, and you have a right to take care of yourself. Know that wherever and with whomever you spend Thursday afternoon, you are blessed and loved. And know that you are always welcome in God’s family, to which you belong and have always belonged.

Blessin’s, --Tom

QUESTIONS FOR THE WEEK: What are you grateful for this year? What blessings do you have to share with others? What are ways we can celebrate the holidays while recognizing their complexity?



Wednesday 11/21

  • Tom at LATI community office hours 9am – 12pm

  • No Wednesday Youth Church

  • UCCW  Choir

Thursday 11/22

  • Happy Thanksgiving!!! (office closed)

Friday 11/23

  • Newsletter deadline for all reports

  • Office closed for Thanksgiving Break

Sunday 11/25

  • Adult Bible Study, 8:45am

  • Sunday Worship 10am, Elsie Foster Baptism

  • Book Study, 4pm (Fellowship Hall)

Wednesday 11/28

  • Tom at LATI community office hours 9am – 12pm

  • Wednesday Youth Church, 6pm

  • UCCW Choir, 7pm

Thursday 11/ 29

  • Tom’s Community Office Hours, 9am-12pm @ Gather

  • Holden Evening Prayer @ Trinity Episcopal Church, 6pm

Pastor Tom and Rev. Isaiah Broken Leg (Trinity Episcopal) invite you to take part in a beautiful evening prayer service every Thursday during Advent. Join us for inspiring music and contemplative prayer as we wait together for the coming of the Light at Christmastime.

Thursdays 11/29 + 12/13 at Trinity (612 3rd St NE), Thursdays 12/6 + 12/20 at UCC Watertown. The service lasts 1/2 hour, with a simple potluck meal to follow.

Monday 12/10

  • UCCW will be serving the Watertown Banquet, at Grace Lutheran Church, the church will not be unlocked until 4pm, for more information contact Cyndy Voight

Have you stopped by the book exchange in the Fellowship Hall?  Just a great way to find a new book and drop one off if you have any.  Books for all ages, adults, teens, and children’s. We also have a puzzle and movie exchange. Stop by, take a look, take a book…  

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