As I gather with my family tomorrow, including my two brothers from out of town, I am thinking of all of you observing Thanksgiving in so many different ways. Many, like me, are enjoying the blessing of family while remembering loved ones no longer present. Some have found a family of choice to share the day. And for some tomorrow will be pretty much the same as today. However you spend this day, may each of you have the blessing of knowing you are loved.

As I enjoy our family’s traditional dishes for our Thanksgiving meal, I am thinking of those in our community who do not have the means to make a feast. Those who are without work or who work jobs that do not pay a living wage. Those who were counting on government assistance that was not enough to begin with and is even less now. Here are some statistics from last year for poverty in Fairfax County. I am hoping we will all remember these families and do what we can to advocate for a living wage for all.

Below, I am sharing the poem I read at services this weekend. You might want to use it or adapt it as a personal meditation or a blessing for your gathering.

If you are carrying a burden of grief this season, I invite you to join our Grief and Loss Support Group that resumes this Sunday.

Happy Thanksgiving from all your staff at UUCF.
Mary Katherine

Perhaps I should have said it just between
the wine and grace, the wishing and the blessing.
That was a time for words, when the scene
had just begun, before we passed the dressing.
Before the knife cut deep into the breast,
I might have paused, looked up and all around
into the eyes of each of them. A jest
came easier, wit tossed into the sound
and lost. Between the stuffing and the pie,
was yet another quiet moment when
I could have told them all. Instead, I sighed
and let it pass. Just once before the end
I should have cried, Listen, before you go,
I love you. I just wanted you to know.
-Peter LaForge