The Sacrifice of Thankfulness

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances... —Thessalonians 5:16-18
Flavia PotenzaBy Flavia Potenza

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The Sacrifice of Thankfulness
BY JESSICA MCGRAW AND THE ROOM K KIDS. | JESSICAB455@GMAIL.COM When Topanga elementary Kindergarten teacher Amy Weisberg came up with an idea for her students to use chalk to draw what they are thankful for, Mom and school volunteer, Jessica McGraw, stepped up and created a big colorful rainbow that the kids helped to color. Everyone is thankful for Jessica, too!
It's nice having a little country church just a couple of miles down the road. It's also nice that the Chabad of Topanga is just up the street and I can walk there in a matter of minutes. Like many people these days, I'm not a religious person per se, but I follow tenets expressed in many religions that have guided me. I've kind of cherry-picked what resonates with me over the years but it's not a commitment to any one religion. This idea of Thanksgiving and being thankful falls into a morass of cliches, comforting homilies, counting our blessings. That's not a bad thing. On Sunday, November 20, I attended the Topanga Christian Fellowship Church. It was held inside (as if post-pandemic), in the sanctuary, a place of comfort, praise through music, prayer, fellowship, and feasting with a potluck Thanksgiving dinner after the service. Pastor John Klein, who officiates at the church once a month, gave a short sermon about being thankful based in biblicle admonitions. There are many but this one got my attention. Are we thankful only when we receive something we want? There are biblical references to the "sacrifice of thankfulness." What does that mean? When all the world seems turned against you, how do you give thanks? It's easy when all is well but what do you do when your house burns down? When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer? I have heard survivors say they are grateful; that their battle with cancer was the best thing that happened to them. Where do we find the strength? Many religions instruct followers to call on a higher power. Intangible as that sounds, it seems to work, not for everyone, but enough of us to ponder being thankful in all circumstances, good or bad. I didn't realize that thankfulness is so present throughout the bible, but in society today, it seems the pandemic slowed us down enough to look around and see how much there is to be grateful for. I can't help but observe grateful hearts often expressed by friends, on TV from people in the most dire of circumstances, and right here in Topanga, in children and their teachers who color in chalk rainbows. In This Issue:Eagle Scouts; "What are those little blue helicopters buzzing around for?"; Town Council updates; Chanukah 2021; Feature: "Women Taking Charge in Changing Times; Portuguese-American poet up for 2022 PEN Award; JoelBellman can't get enough of The Scottish Play; Paula LaBrot is "Reconnecting;" Kait Leonard returns with astrological signs for "Happy December!"; "The Giving Season"" Did you know Topanga Pet Resort is up for sale? Also, consider local non-profits who could use some end-of-the-year tax-deductable donations to their cause.
Flavia Potenza

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November 26, 2021