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Scott’s Column: Thanksgiving

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
November 8 2021

This autumn marks the 400th anniversary of the meal between the Pilgrims of Plymouth and the indigenous Wampanoags.  Often our current annual Thanksgiving events reference this “First Thanksgiving.”  Many of us learned the story as kids in school or watching Charlie Brown.  But, of course, the actual history is more complicated than that.

And for us Congregationalists, who also honor that history as part of our religious tradition, it is even more complicated, especially in an era when we are examining how we remember, honor, and celebrate the past to reflect our current values and ideals.

The next two Sundays in our worship we will examine this Thanksgiving anniversary.  My plan is to spend this coming Sunday, November 14 “Deconstructing Thanksgiving” and then the next week, November 21, “Reconstructing Thanksgiving.”

My plan is to bring to bear some critical questions and then work at moving with those critical questions to a new appreciation of the story, its values, and its possibilities for our future in what biblical scholars Paul Ricoeur and Marcus Borg would call a “post-critical naivete.”

Meanwhile, I’m quite thankful today, because my son Sebastian has received his vaccine shot!  What are you thankful for this year?