Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Loving country and community

Last night was the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service here in Framingham, always very inspiring to me.

One thing I'm grateful for is that over the last year and a half, I've gotten to know my community more. Since I’m no longer commuting "into town" each day, I've made connections right here in my own backyard that I really cherish.

Last night showed to me how deep this has gone. Two years ago when I went into that service, I knew no one. This year, I ran into many people I've gotten to know, and we had a nice time chatting. The funny thing is, we've all been attending the service year after year, so we could have been friends all along. I'm grateful we're friends now.

I wanted to share a couple items on the program that spoke to me. The theme was more patriotic this year than in other years. And I have to say, I do love my country. With all its faults, and I promise you I'm not blind to them, I'm so grateful for this land in which I live. It's a gratitude and love that makes me want to be part of the solutions.

Enjoy, and hope your preparations for the holiday are going beautifully!

The New Colossus

Emma Lazarus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

America the Beautiful

First two verses: Katharine Lee Bates, 1893
Second two verses: Miriam Therese Winter, 1993

O beautiful for spacious skies, for amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet whose stern, impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat across the wilderness!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law!

Indigenous and immigrant, our daughters and our sons;
O may we never rest content till all are truly one.
America! America! God grant that we may be
A sisterhood and brotherhood from sea to shining sea.

How beautiful, sincere lament, the wisdom born of tears,
The courage called for to repent the bloodshed through the years.
America! America! God grant that we may be
A nation blessed with none oppressed, true land of liberty.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 11/22/2006 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Kim said...

"America the beautiful" is simply brilliant!

Thank you SO much for sharing.


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