THE 47TH COMMUNITY-WIDE INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE
i-pi ye-iswa (Catawba Fire Drumming Circle)
HAUDENOSAUNEE THANKSGIVING ADDRESS
To be a human being is an honor, and we offer thanksgiving for all the gifts of life.
Mother Earth, we thank you for giving us everything we need.
Thank you, deep blue waters around mother earth, for you are the force that takes thirst away from all living things.
We give thanks to green grasses that feel so good against her bare feet, for the cool beauty you bring to mother earth’s floor.
Thank you, good foods from mother Earth, our life sustainers, for making us happy when we are hungry.
Fruits and berries, we thank you for your color and sweetness. We are all thankful to good medicine herbs, for healing us when we are sick.
Thank you, all the animals in the world, for keeping our precious forest clean. All the trees in the world, we are thankful for the shade and warmth you give us. Thank you, all the birds in the world, for singing your beautiful songs for all to enjoy.
We give thanks to you gentle Four Winds, for bringing clean air for us to breathe from the four directions.
Thank you, grandfather thunder beings, for bringing rains to help all living things grow.
Elder brother sun, we send thanks for shining your light and warming mother earth.
Thank you, Grandmother Moon, for growing full every month to light the darkness for children and sparkling waters.
We give you thanks, twinkling stars, for making the night sky so beautiful and for sprinkling morning dew drops on the plants.
Enlightened teachers of our past and present we thank you for showing us ways to live in peace and harmony with one another.
And most of all, thank you, Great Spirit, for giving us all these wonderful gifts, so we will be happy and healthy every day and every night.
This translation of the Mohawk version of the Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address was developed, published in 1993, and provided, courtesy of: Six Nations Indian Museum and the Tracking Project. All rights reserved.
Thanksgiving Address: Greetings to the Natural World English version: John Stokes and Kanawahienton (David Benedict, Turtle Clan/Mohawk) Original inspiration: Tekaronianekon (Jake Swamp, Wolf Clan/Mohawk)
WORDS OF WELCOME
Rev. Dr. Dwayne A. Walker, Pastor, Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church
INTRODUCTION OF THEME
Rev. LeDayne McLeese Polaski, Executive Director, MeckMIN
WELCOME TO THE CHILDREN
Ramona Moore Big Eagle (Tuscarora), M. Ed.,
CEO of Dare to Soar Enterprises, speaker, author, storyteller, cultural educator, consultant, and workshop facilitator
Monty Hawk Branham (Catawba), Spiritual Guide of the Catawba Nation
Dr. Brittany Danielle Hunt (Lumbee), owner of Indigenous Ed, LLC.
PRESENTATION: What Really Happened at “The First Thanksgiving?”
Ramona Moore Big Eagle (Tuscarora)
PRESENTATION: How Have and Do False Stories Impact Both Indigenous and Non-indigenous People?
Dr. Brittany Danielle Hunt (Lumbee)
PRAYER OF REPENTANCE
John Ederer, President, MeckMIN; Imam and Religious Director, Muslim Community Center of Charlotte
PRESENTATION: How Might We Tell a Truer Story of the Past? How Might We LIVE a Better Story Now?
Aminah Ghaffar (Lumbee/Black), Community Advocate and Journalist
Monty Hawk Branham (Catawba)
HOLDING WHAT WE'VE HEARD
Aminah Ghaffar (Lumbee/Black)
CALLS TO ACTION –
Rev. Sonja Lee, Executive Director, Lionel Lee Jr. Center for Wellness
Zach Surber, Senior Manager of Volunteer Services, Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region
Rev. Amy Brooks Paradise, Vice President, MeckMIN; US Organizer for GreenFaith
Dr. Crystal Cavalier-Keck (Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation)
Principal at 7 Directions of Service and Founder of the MMIW NC Coalition.
The offering will be shared between MeckMIN and MMIW NC.
For cash and checks, offering plates and envelopes will also be available as you enter and leave the service. If you wish to donate cash, please use an envelope and record your name and contact information so we can credit you.
If you prefer, you can mail a check to:
PO Box 11243
Charlotte, NC 28220
Please make all checks to MeckMIN. We will split the offering with MMIW NC afterwards.
If you are going to mail a check and wish it to be split, please note that on the check and mail it within a week.
MMIW NC Coalition's mission is to build a strong foundation for healing, justice, and reconciliation for the governments (local and state), institutions and community in order to help society's attitudes and understanding of the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women. MMIW NC vision is to provide united tribal leadership in this work by lifting up the collective voices of grassroots advocates in tribal communities. The goal of MMIW NC is to bring our missing home and help the families of the murdered understand and cope through the process of grief. https://mmiwnc.com/
Monty Hawk Branham (Catawba)
INVITATION TO NEXT YEAR'S SERVICE
Dr. Steve Lindsley, Senior Minister/Head of Staff, Trinity Presbyterian Church
RECESSIONAL and POSTLUDE
Please join us for continued fellowship in the Fellowship Hall
Thank you to the members of this year’s planning committee:
Zach Surber (chair),
Ramona Moore Big Eagle,
Monty Hawk Branham,
Thank you to Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church for their warm hospitality!
If you enjoyed this service and would be interested in more interfaith opportunities, please join our newsletter list
You'll notice some construction on-site. Our hosts have launched a project to increase affordable housing in Uptown Charlotte. Varick on 7th will feature 105 units in one five-story building. Fifty apartments will be income-restricted for households earning 30%, 60%, and 80% AMI, and 55 units will be rented at market rates.
Learn more here about this exciting effort:
Imagine swiping your credit card at a vending machine - but instead of buying a candy bar for yourself, you’re buying a goat for a family in a developing country. Or a pillow and blanket for a newly arrived refugee. Or groceries for a family in need.
With the #LightTheWorld Mobile Giving Machine, that’s exactly what happens. Be a part of this one-of-a-kind giving experience and add more meaning to your holiday celebrations.
All operating costs are paid by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints so that 100% of your donation goes to the charity you choose.
THANKS To This Year's LEAD Sponsor
THANKS To This Year's INDIVIDUAL Sponsors
Richard & Beverly Hester
Nancy Carol Stahl