A picture of Reverend Christine at the pulpit during her installation ceremony

You are receiving Compass this week on the day that falls on Thanksgiving. Some people love Thanksgiving–they love the food, the family gatherings, the football and the gratitude that it inspires. Some people have a real challenge with the origin of Thanksgiving and the false story that it perpetuates about the “cooperation” between the indigenous occupants of the land and the colonizers. Some have challenges with the expectations of abundance and functional family cohesion that this holiday assumes to be true.  

I fall into all three of those categories–some years more than others. My family is far from a Hallmark commercial and I resent outside pressures that set unrealistic expectations; I quite like my messy family and think that perfection is way overrated.  

Thanksgiving is just the beginning, we are entering the season of joyous and/or complicated holidays. What I acknowledge is that some people are excited about them and some are dreading them. For those who are in the latter category, I hope you’ll join in the Blue Holiday support gatherings that Rev. Patrice Curtis is leading and attend the Blue Holidays service on Thursday, December 15.  

I give you my signature greeting that I have offered to my beloveds every year: Have the holidays that you’ll have. This is a line that is amended from the movie, “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” and I love it because it honors the complexity of the time. Your holiday will be what it will be–no matter if the food is burnt, the family doesn’t agree on politics, the children are overtired or there is someone important missing from the table. Give yourself tons of grace and compassion, and know that you are beloved within this community and your worth and dignity is not defined by how one meal or holiday goes. Have the holiday you will have and know that I am so grateful for each and every one of you.