Each Friday, the school gathers in the church for a weekly eucharist, also referred to as Holy Communion, Mass, or the Lord’s Supper in many other Christian denominations. The term “eucharist” comes to us from the Greek word “eucharistia” which simply means “giving thanks”. This service is a time for the people of God to give thanks for the great gift of Christ to this world. As fourth grader Julia Troegel put it during her day as acting Head of School, “We use this word [eucharist] because when we go to the front of the church to receive the bread and the wine, we are giving thanks to the Lord and thanking Jesus for giving up himself to our service.”
Thanksgiving is a fitting word for this time of the year. Traditionally, harvests were gathered in and people gave thanks to God for food to sustain their lives. We often reserve this word for one day in which the people of our nation give thanks for this land, the people we hold dear, and the blessings of our lives. And we usually speak of these blessings in the context of a meal together, overindulging on tryptophan and football games, a walk outside, and good conversations.
As we reflect on the Thanksgiving holiday, perhaps we might consider stretching this holiday out over several times during the year. Just as the Church recognizes the call to weekly giving of thanks at the eucharist, each of us might celebrate times during the year to offer thanks for people we love, lives that are meaningful and joyful, the warmth of homes and good meals with friends, and a God who loves us and desires the best for us. For myself, I give thanks for the opportunity to be a part of the St. James community this year. I have met some amazing teachers, strong and able administrators, loving and learning students, and a number of committed and supportive parents in a relatively short time. Thanksgiving is not just reserved for that one day each year; giving thanks is a way of responding to all that is shared with us by a loving God. Safe travels, great food, and loving hearts be with you and those you love this Thanksgiving holiday.
– Father Michael Kuhn, Interim Head of School