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Showing posts from November, 2018

Generosity: The Close Relative of Gratitude

I am writing this entry to the Three Village Clergy Association Blog in the days before Thanksgiving, a time when many people express their “thanks” for the blessings and gifts they have received in their lives. May each of our lives be full of blessings and gifts. An awareness and a practice of gratitude is good for our spirits. Further, it’s good to remember that we are not just recipients of blessings and gifts; we are givers of blessings and gifts as well. A close relative of gratitude is generosity.  For me generosity is a practice: a material, intellectual, emotional and spiritual practice. I understand generosity as a real sharing of something important to me. Of giving as an intentional choice I have made. I don’t think generosity is giving something I happen to have left over and didn’t really need anyway. I mean that’s good, especially if what I give away can be useful to others, but it’s not what I mean. Nor do I think generosity is a reward.  When I leave the wait staff a l…

Our Diversity is Our Strength

I was riding the subway with my husband.We were headed towards Penn Station, returning home after seeing a Broadway show in Manhattan.It was rush hour, the subway was crowded and I was lucky to get one of the last seats.It was amazingly quiet for such a crowded car.Most people were looking at their phones or listening to a device.There were quite a few pairs of wireless earphones on people.Their heads nodded slightly to the beat of noiseless music, or their eyes glazed over as a mystery book played in their ears.There was a rich variety of humanity on that single car- multiple ages, ethnicities, races, ages and income levels.I marveled at the diversity and the peaceful coexistence in this tiny piece of New York City. My eyes glanced over to the man sitting next to me.He was holding a book and reading it very intently.Reading an actual book is a relatively rare occurrence these days, but what truly caught my attention was the unusual print and the magnificently beautiful font of the let…

2018 Annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

The Three Village Interfaith Clergy Association will be offering its annual Community Interfaith Thanksgiving service on Tuesday, November 20 at 7:00 p.m. at North Shore Jewish Center (385 Old Town Road, Port Jefferson Station).  The monetary offering collected during the service will go to the Three Village School District food pantries which provide support to students and families in need. The community also is invited to bring grocery store gift cards to donate to the school district pantries. Pack up your Thanksgiving visitors and family and come join us to celebrate the gifts of our religious diversity. We hope you will be able to stay for a while after the service to enjoy refreshments and conversation.
The day after the midterm elections ...
This blog post will be appearing on the day after the midterm elections.As I write a few hours before results are in, we are still reeling from the recent violence caused by racial and religious hatred and, in the case of the pipe-bombs, by an apparent inability to deal with anger stemming from intolerance. More hatred, clothed slightly differently.
But by the time this is posted, we will have had an election, one that may make a huge change in how our country is to manage its affairs or may further empower those who have been in charge for the last two years. I will not hide that my hope has been for the change.
However, whatever the outcome in the control of various seats of power, I will continue to hold out another hope, one that is longer in scope than a single election and broader than any single electoral victory or defeat. It is that we – all of us – will commit to teach, learn, and continue to build the practices we need that will sustai…