|Pam Snyder, AMASC President 2010-2014|
Thanksgiving, November 28, 2013Message from Pam Snyder, AMASC President
Many nations celebrate harvest festivals- a time to rejoice in the crops that have been gathered at the end of the growing season. In the US a special national holiday is observed annually to celebrate the harvest and to thank God.
While there were thanksgiving services held in what is now the United States by early settlers from Spain, the concept of an annual civic celebration traces its origins to The Pilgrims. These were Protestant settlers from England who brought the festival tradition with them to the New World of America where they celebrated Thanksgiving in 1621 after their first successful growing season. The Pilgrims were thankful not only to God but to the Native American peoples whose gifts of food kept the newcomers alive the preceding winter. So to show their appreciation, the Pilgrims invited the Native peoples to a three day feast of Thanksgiving. As the Pilgrims were a devout people and the Native Americans had strong beliefs in Divinity, this first Thanksgiving would have also been an interfaith as well as an intercultural event.
Yes, relations between the European settlers and the Native peoples would not always be harmonious, but those first peoples understood how important each group was to the other. They created an ideal for us to strive for as we share the bounty of a healthy earth with family and friends.
There are ways in which AMASC is like the first US Thanksgiving, we cross cultures, languages, faith traditions and good traditions. Yet all of us are univted in the Heart of God who loves us unconditionally.