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Musings: Gratitude As A Response to the Earth...


I apologize for being a day late. Yesterday I was called to the hospital in the morning and while driving home I developed some sort of bug that left me feeling less than one hundred percent - - so, I came home and took the rest of the day for self-care.

Unfortunately, I spent some of that self-care time overwhelming myself with the images of destruction wrought by hurricanes Fiona and Ian. It seems that I cannot tear my eyes from it.

Helpfully, Carrie Newcomer articulates much of what I am feeling in her most recent offering in ‘A Gathering of Spirits’. First, she quotes a poem written by Adrienne Rich

My heart is moved by all I cannot save:

So much has been destroyed

I have to cast my lot with those

who, age after age,

Perversely and with no extraordinary

power, reconstitute the world.

And then offers these words,

Climate grief is like any other kind of grief. Its deep, painful and non-linear. If we completely stopped using fossil fuels tomorrow, it would still be at least a generation before temperatures began to shift toward more normal levels. The normal natural patterns I grew up experiencing will not return in my life time. There are many species that will never return at all. Like the Adrianne Rich poem, there is so much that has already been lost.

Amid climate grief, we are invited this weekend to gather in gratitude. While the Thanksgiving holiday in Canada has a long history (you can read of some of it here), common throughout that history is the coming together of the community to give thanks for the bounty of the land – a land now threatened by climate change.

I invite you as you gather ‘round your tables this week and give thanks for the bounty of the land and the circle of love and care you are a part of, to not forget the land that makes our being possible and ponder that action you might take to care for the earth.

Gratitude is most powerful as a response to the Earth because it provides an opening to reciprocity, to the act of giving back, to living in a way that the Earth will be grateful for us.

Robin Wall Kimmerer



This morning (Tuesday) I was at the Church for meetings in the morning followed by a pastoral visit. At 1PM I made my way to Trider’s in Amherst where a fund-raiser was being held to support Hurricane Fiona Relief and Recovery – smoked brisket and beer – that’ll get me every time!. Following another meeting in Amherst I ambled home where I am writing these words as I respond to emails and telephone calls.

Wednesday morning I’ll be in the office for a meeting followed by a pastoral visit over lunch and unless there is something pressing I’ll be home for the afternoon before returning to the Church at 6:30PM for the last of our Senior’s Sharing the Table evening sessions. This Wednesday evening there’ll be a presentation and discussion on cyber-fraud followed by light refreshments.

Thursday, as has become my practice, will be devoted to crafting the liturgy and sermon for Sunday – an opportunity to reflect on the wisdom shared by the Lectionary Study Group and all that has transpired thus far in the week.

Friday and Saturday will be days off (Friday being Jenn and I’s 5th Wedding Anniversary) and I expect that we’ll do something special to mark the event!

I look forward to gathering with all who join in our Sunday Gathering on Thanksgiving Sunday – I’ll be basing the liturgy and reflection on one or more of the following texts: Deuteronomy 26:1-11, Psalm 100 and Philippians 4:4-9. Hopefully I’ll have something worthwhile to offer. Jenn and I will celebrate Thanksgiving on Sunday afternoon with as many children and others around the table as we can scrounge up – and then we’ll take Monday to recuperate as they return home!

The image above was taken on Sunday October 2nd as Jennie Del Motte and Rev. Lloyd offered leadership at the Church Service at the Drew Nursing Home. Thank you to Jennifer Bruce who took the photo and joined Lloyd in visiting a few of the residents before the service.

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