By Ken Stern 

Thanksgiving thanks and blessings

From the editor—


November 22, 2023

This is the week we sit down with family and friends and give thanks, typically for the abundant bounty that so many Americans are privileged to have.

At this time of American thanksgiving, lifting our eyes past the laden table is as necessary for our souls as it is good for the souls not attending Thursday’s feasts..

We live in, for and with the immediate world surrounding us: our home, work and community, but whether we hold it close or only hear faintly at a distance, the large world beyond our community borders exists. Many people in many places are in horrific pain this November. The tragedy of children lost to their – and our – futures, lost to their families and their communities is larger than we want to know.

Here is an inconvenient truth that we do not want to face and are relunctant to learn: There is a longtime pandemic of short lives of children that has spread through country after country around the planet. It is only growing larger and getting worst.

As we sit in terrific, bountiful comfort, heads bowed and hands held with those dearest to us, consider giving blessings as well as thanks. Here is a start.

Blessed are the peacemakers.

Blessed are those who calm troubled waters.

Blessed are those who bind up others’ wounds.

Blessed are those who gather children around them.

Blessed are those who abhor war and insist, no more.

Blessed are those who beat their swords into plowshares.

Blessed are those who talk softly and reach out with a

peace branch.

Blessed are those who put children at the center of their concerns.

Blessed are those who bind up the wounds of other nations.

Blessed are those who bind up the wounds of those that suffer within their nations.

Blessed are those that face the past honestly and move into the future courageously.

Blessed are those who put their weapons down and are brave enough to extend the hand of peace to their enemies.

Blessed are those who face their anger and hate and start the hard work of growing into and participating with compassion and love.


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