It is Thanksgiving in Canada this weekend. Over the years we have had a wide range of celebratory meals around Thanksgiving. One memorable year we had sixteen (I think) at the table. Hadley and I were married but didn’t have any kids yet so the rest of the crowd was students. I close my eyes and I can see some of them around the table, about to dig into a 28-pound turkey. I remember Thanksgiving feasts with lots of family and with only my immediate family. I remember eating Thanksgiving dinners at our home, at relatives’ homes, and (to me at least as they were my parents’ friends) at strangers’ homes. Do the big and hopefully good meals sum up what it means to be thankful? I don’t think so.
I almost ran this post with black borders. This Sunday was the last Sunday worship service at Knox Presbyterian in Briercrest. Ever. The formal service of dissolution will be happening next Friday at 7:00 pm, feel free to drop in if you are in the neighbourhood. At first, I thought it was a painful irony the final Sunday service was on Thanksgiving Sunday but I changed my mind about that. I was, am, and always will be, grateful to the faith community of Knox. I learned a lot from them and I hope they learned some things from me too. They were generous and kind to me and my family in ways that went far beyond what I would have expected from many churches. I love them and they love me. Love doesn’t mean everything works out. And no congregation is immortal. The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us there are times to live but there are also times to die and it was time for this congregation.
I will always have a Knox-shaped hole in my heart; it will fit right in with all the other holes love and loss have left.