“Vote early, vote often” was a corruption practised in the early days of democracy. Thanksgiving for food was a constant offering to God in those early days when more of us were tied and bonded to the land. Our thanksgiving letter is early… so we might encourage each other to prepare for that festival. Our letter is early so we might make our thanksgiving audible, repetitive and thoughtful.
Food in this country is cheap, safe, clean and accessible. That is true for most of us; most of us except two groups. The cheap food we eat is paid for in risk, fear, hard work and often at deep loss by those who grow it for us. At this Thanksgiving I would like to thank those who grow our food. Some are mentioned in this letter. The second group that do not find food easy is the poor; both rural and urban.
Thanksgiving is also a time when we think about food security and food availability, both at home and elsewhere. In Canada there are many avenues for that expression. Our primary partner internationally is The Sharing Way through CBM.
This letter talks about food. We have strong roots in this area. Strong credentials. The original delegation from Ontario who came to search out the Red River area in 1869 reported detail of the climate, the land and the farming possibilities. Terry Summach Flexi Coil non till seeding technology pioneered effective environmental planting that considerably reduces soil erosion. The following links and individuals have connections with our family of churches.
The first three have gardens:
Brent Mansfield: Click on link, go to September 6, CTV News at 6, from 13:08-15:03.
Mustard Seed Edmonton:
A Rocha has created a significant earth stewardship movement around the world and in Manitoba and British Columbia. http://www.arocha.org/ca-en/index.html
Canadian Foodgrains Bank is essential for feeding the world. Bob Webber is a board member. http://www.foodgrainsbank.ca/
Tim Kerber in Leduc plans for their family to eat their Thanksgiving meal from what they’ve grown on their land (harder to do in an apartment in Regina, true)
Have you seen the latest DVD from the CBWC on giving…with a garden motif…
Finally, I share some prayers for the weekend… well ahead, so you have time to savour.
Graces from Celtic Daily Prayer, from the Northumbria Community:
A Hebridean Grace:
Lord God, giver of all good things,
may we who share at this table,
like pilgrims here on earth,
be welcomed with Your saints
to the heavenly feast.
God bless our food;
God bless our drink.
And keep our homes
in Your embrace,
Bless, O Lord,
this food we are about to eat;
and we pray you, O God,
that it may be good
for our body and soul;
and, if there is any poor creature
hungry or thirsty walking the road,
may God send them in to us
so that we can share the food with them,
just as Christ shares His gifts
with all of us.
From the Isle of Lewis:
Our God, we are Your guests,
and ‘tis You who keeps the generous table.
We thank You.
The Stranger’s Blessing:
The Sacred Three be blessing thee,
thy table and its store.
The Sacred Three be blessing
all thy loved ones evermore.
From Two Thousand Years of Prayer, compiled by Michael Counsell:
We thank thee, Lord God and Father, Creator of heaven and earth, for all thy good gifts which we, O Father of lights, have received of thee, and receive daily of thy liberal hand through Jesus Christ, the dearly beloved Son, our Lord, thou who hast clothed our bodies with the needed covering and hast satisfied them with the natural bread. We pray thee humbly, as our dearly beloved Father, to look upon us, thy children, persecuted for the sake of thy holy Gospel, and earnestly desirous, in our weakness, to live devoutly in this world. Be pleased to keep us in thy Word in fatherly fashion, in order that to the end of our days we may remain constant in thy Word and Gospel, revealed by thee to the plain and simple, and hidden to the wise ones of this world. Menno Simon (1496-1561)
Almighty God, father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men; we bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life: but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen. Edward Reynolds (1599-1676)