Public Witness

Thanksgiving Realities

Allison Tanner

November 24, 2023

Dear Lakeshore,

I hope you have been able to find ways to connect with loved ones, feast, watch football, or just slow down and offer gratitude this Thanksgiving. As we continue to enjoy the gifts of abundance, may they help us navigate the harsh realities in which we a living – and may we cling to the ways in which gratitude can be a subversive act.

Celebrating Thanksgiving not only comes with acknowledging abundance, but also responsibilities, especially for non-native peoples. In light of the larger realities of the month – Native American Heritage Month and the Israel-Hamas war, I find the following graphic insightful. Even as we continue to watch the depopulation and destruction of Gaza, within the context of 75 years of dispossession and depopulation of Palestinians from their native lands, we must also remember the settler colonial history of our own country – and the responsibilities it holds. Let us add to our list of subversive acts: truth-telling, solidarity with the oppressed, and working for repair in our own land. It is so important to cultivate gratitude to sustain us in these additional subversive acts.

In addition to Lakeshore’s longstanding relationship with Intertribal Friendship House through Hunger Task Force, Lakeshore has begun supporting and learning from Sogorea Te’ Land Trust about their healing work of rematriation: to restore sacred relationship between people and place. In the days and months ahead, may we find an abundance of ways to work toward rematriation, restoration and repair in our own land as well as lands throughout God’s world.

Pastor Allison