Happy Thanksgiving Rotarians,

Thank you to those who assisted on Saturday with the Lakewood Charitable Assistance Corporation's food drive and on Friday night with the packing of the bread. May this coming week be truly one of thanks as you gather with family and friends and celebrate. The other morning I came across this message below and was inspired by it and wanted to share it with all of you.

I hope that all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to join us for our next meeting On December 2nd at 6 pm at Bill Minnich’s home. (17834 Lake Road Lakewood 44107)

Dave Clements


The Essence of Thanksgiving:  by Charles Henderson

Suddenly it's upon us. It seems only yesterday that we were back from our summer vacations, and the long weeks of fall seemed to stretch before us almost without end. But now it's practically Thanksgiving, and Christmas is soon to follow.

As Thanksgiving draws near, we are very much aware of the arrangements that must be made for the celebration. Grocery shopping, guests to be invited, travel arrangements to be confirmed, calculations on the cooking of the bird. For most of us the machinery of Thanksgiving has already been set into motion, and in just a few days we will sit down to share a Thanksgiving supper. But as Christians we must ask, what is the inner meaning of this holiday? What is the fitting symbol of Thanksgiving?

A traveler from Mars, looking down upon millions of homes across America this Thanksgiving morning might easily be confused. For the sight of all those faces, those wide eyes, those expressions of wonder and delight as the turkey is brought to the table might lead our Martian visitor to the hasty conclusion that we gather each year to worship the turkey goddess.

Obviously the turkey is not an entirely fitting symbol for Thanksgiving. Perhaps our more fitting symbol of Thanksgiving would be that picture postcard image we all hold of that first Thanksgiving feast. There stand the hearty Pilgrims, gathered around the fruit of the harvest. Bound by a common faith, they seem the very image of fortitude in the face of adversity.

As we look back across these 300 years and compare their situation with our own, its tempting to be nostalgic about the past. If we could only find the courage and the confidence which made that first Thanksgiving possible, perhaps our problems would seem less daunting.

If we are to celebrate thanksgiving with prayers of praise that will not fade, if we are to give thanks with smiles that are more than superficial, we must set our priorities straight. The essence of Thanksgiving is not to be found in the cost of the goods and services that may fill our horn of plenty. The important things are the resources we bring to adversity. What strength can we call upon when these earthen treasures fail?

To give thanks is to stand up in the face of the storm and declare that life is worth living. To give thanks is to assert that the whole of creation is one great act of God's love. May we give thanks this Thanksgiving, not because all things are good or easy, but simply because we know that this troubled world with all its evil and all its good is cradled in the arms of a loving God.