PHA: Conflicting Traditions Remind Us To Be Thankful

Thanksgiving dominates November. And whatever our religion, we all celebrate the holiday. In fact, more than any other national holiday, Thanksgiving has profound spiritual roots.

6281164-e1398183944472But almost as popular in our culture today is the day after Thanksgiving: the so-called “Black Friday.” The largest, craziest shopping day of the year. You can’t miss the stories on television every year of the mad shoppers, frantically trying to save a few bucks.

To me, it’s an extraordinary that these two “holidays” come back-to-back. Speaking about “Black Friday” a few years ago now, my colleague the Rev. David Weber deliciously summed up the ironies:

“Americans stopped for awhile yesterday to give thanks for what they have, then rose this morning, early, and left the house, praying ‘But it’s not enough.’ ”

I mean, it is ironic, isn’t it? We spend an entire holiday giving thanks to God, our families and friends. We gather to eat a bounty of food. We rest in the knowledge that we are richly blessed. And then, the very next day, we rush out to buy, spend and acquire more.

(This is my November worship column for Preston Hollow Advocate. Read the rest here).

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Eric Folkerth is a minister, musician, author and blogger. He is Senior Pastor of Kessler Park UMC United Methodist Church in Dallas, Texas. Previously, he was pastor at Northaven UMC in Dallas for seventeen years. Eric loves to write on topics of spirituality, social justice, music/art and politics. The entries on this blog reflect that diversity of interests. His passion for social justice goes beyond mere words. He’s been arrested at the White House, defending immigrants and “The Dreamers,” and he’s officiated at same sex weddings in his churches, in defiance of what some believe is Methodist teaching. Eric is an avid blogger and published author, and 2017 recipient of the prestigeous Kuchling Humanitarian Award from Dallas’ Black Tie Dinner. (Human Rights Campaign) Eric has led or co-led hundreds of persons on mission trips around the globe, to places such as Mexico, Haiti, Russia, and Nepal. He has worked with lay persons to build ten homes, and one Community Center, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity of Dallas. He’s a popular preacher, and often tackles challenging issues of social justice in his writings and sermons. His wife, Judge Dennise Garcia, is a State District Judge for Dallas, County. As judge of the 303rd Family District Court, she consistently gets high ratings from area lawyers, and was named “best judge” by The Dallas Observer. First elected in 2004, she was the first Latina ever elected to a county-wide bench in Dallas County, and is currently the longest service district judge in that district. She was re-elected for a fourth term in 2018. They have the world’s best daughter, Maria, and an incredible dog, Daisy. Find links to Eric’s music-related websites, at the top of this site’s navigation menu.

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