ZOOM ONLY: Giving Thanks as an Act of Reciprocity
This week we gather in various ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, a national holiday in the US. For many Native Americans, this is the National Day of Mourning for the hundreds of years of losses suffered by their people - exploitation, detribalization, genocide - in the process of the settler colonization of our country. Our UU denomination is shaped and steeped in colonialism.
Our service seeks to dispel the myths of the Thanksgiving day story said to occur in 1621 in which the white settlers control the narrative of giving a feast and do not mention the original generosity of the native people that made this feast possible. None of us are unharmed by this and the many white centered narratives we have learned. None of us are unscathed from these systems of exploitation - even as the impacts are different depending on the identities we hold. Fundamentally, they have the effect of separating us from one another and from our common humanity and interdependence.
Hartman Deetz, from the Wampanoag tribal nation, tells us that the native way of understanding the world is that everything has a right to its life and everything has a right to exist and be able to continue to exist. For this to happen we have to reciprocate - if we take something we have to give back and that is what giving thanks is about. For each of the 13 cycles of the moon the Wampanoag would have a thanksgiving. Together let's explore this reciprocal way of giving thanks.
Children and Youth Religious Education classes will not be held this Sunday.