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In this year of 2022, Harvest Thanksgiving as a ‘church’ event will be celebrated in many parishes around the Diocese of New Westminster and more broadly around the Anglican world on October 9. The national holiday will take place on October 10. This holiday celebrated in Canada on the second Monday of October and in the United States on the last Thursday of November has its roots in Christian faith.

The meaning of harvest in Scripture is largely symbolic, but still extremely important and relevant to our contemporary world. We give thanks for God’s provision for us, and we wish God’s blessing for others. Although Harvest Thanksgiving is intentionally celebrated just once in a year we are the beneficiaries of harvest every day.  Not just the harvest that nourishes our bodies but the harvest which is the totality of the Word of God which nourishes our souls. For many years now the offertory at Harvest Thanksgiving worship has included donated food and/or financial gifts to go to those who may need some support at this time. The blessing offered before meals thanking God for nourishment and the abundance we enjoy will usually contain these words or something pretty close:

“Bless this food to our use and ourselves to your service. Bless the hands that prepared it. And make us ever mindful of the needs of others.”

Giving back in gratitude for all God provides is a pillar of most annual parish giving campaigns, and up until about a decade ago, the annual giving appeal at parishes would begin in late September and (if things went well) was at full steam by Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday. Even the old method of ‘envelopes’ dated and personalized that the giver would fill with cash or a cheque earmarked for each Sunday in the year has its roots in the pay packets containing cash distributed to those who worked the fields many hours a week bringing in the harvest during the early weeks of the fall.

And in case there's a lull in the Thanksgiving dinner conversation here are some helpful 'dad' jokes

  • What do you get if you divide the circumference of a pumpkin by its diameter? Pumpkin pi.
  • What did the turkey say to the turkey hunter on Thanksgiving Day? Quack, quack!
  • What's the best song to play while cooking a turkey? All About That Baste.  
  • Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence.

A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all.