Joint Statement on Brigantine Interfaith Thanksgiving 2020

As you know by now, the decision has been made by the clergy and laity of Brigantine’s Houses of Worship, which support the True Spirit Coalition’s efforts, to delay holding  our annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service this year. Our priority is to ensure that we may remain safe in personal prayer today so that we may pray together tomorrow.

This year has been a tremendously vexing experience for all of us, clergy and laity alike. For the most part, human beings are social creatures, whose life breath is used for the very purpose of communication and connection with each other.  God breathed life into us, uplifting our souls with the Divine spirit. This gift is our opportunity to reflect and spread God’s grace through that same very same Life’s breath.

And yet, we must diminish that very same Life’s breath in order to save our own. Whether by wearing a mask or by reducing our contact with others, we accept the new look of our faith traditions, all of which call upon each individual to protect life, to reduce danger to others and ourselves, and to bring a greater depth of meaning to our lives and those around us.

And yet, despite our longing for one another, we can remain and even increase our spiritual connection while being physically apart. As we approach one of the most Prominent and spiritually significant civic gatherings in our yearly national experience, we, the clergy and lay leadership of Brigantine’s sponsors of the True Spirit Coalition, wish to remind you of both the financial need of others in our community and, even more so, the spiritual needs of those whose emotional poverty is not so easily seen from outside.

We call upon our whole community to reach out to our neighbors, like minded or not, with God’s blessings of technology that will keep us all safe. We do so at this special time of the year for the goal of sharing God’s love and uniting us in common purpose to give thanks for the blessings we have… once, now, and we pray, again in the future. Even as we experience the depths of suffering caused by the loss or diminishment of income or ability, we give thanks. We offer our gratitude for all of those in our lives – from those whose presence is easy in our lives, but especially for those who challenges us to increase in our spiritual skills. We recognize that our lives may be difficult, but we also recognize the abundance of blessings we receive each day.

We have included a reading from our Interfaith Thanksgiving service that has been widely praised as encapsulating our sense of obligation and appreciation for this gift of Life. We ask that you read it, consider its ideas, and use it as inspiration to shepherd God’s will and God’s joyous and uplifting message of hope and love. Please consider sending it to both those beloved and just recently acquainted so as to share and inspire others. Let us rededicate ourselves to lifting our hearts and to cultivating attitudes and behaviors that bring only blessings and joy into our lives of all those around us. May this Thanksgiving bring us a joyful mood even if it is fleeting, a prayerful mood even if it is imbued with frustration or sadness, and a prayerful mood even if it is imbued with frustration or sadness, and a hopeful mood even if we struggle to develop a better attitude.  And let us say, “Amen.”