Once again, we are celebrating Thanksgiving. Albeit probably different than in other years. The recommendation for this year is to only celebrate in person with the people we live with. That can be very difficult for many of us maybe because we are so used to having a big Thanksgiving celebration with all our relatives or our chosen family and now we can only celebrate with the people we live with and/or because we are living alone and are thus facing a Thanksgiving all on our own. Since Thanksgiving (or Erntedank as it’s called in German) is neither a big event, nor a family celebration where I’m from, I don’t mind these restrictions. Yet I know from other holidays, especially Christmas and New Years, how difficult it can be not to be able to spend time with your loved ones.
Yet Thanksgiving is about more than being with our family and friends. It is about remembering the things we are grateful for and giving thanks for those things. On October 4, I asked everyone at the end of my sermon in the German radio devotion and the Sunday service to think about the things you are grateful for and maybe even to write them down. I mentioned a few things from my list, like family and friends, being here in Toronto and all the support I have been given in my life. There are more things I could name and one in particular I’m excited to share with all of you:
I found out last week where I’ll go when I leave Toronto on Christmas Day 2020 and as of today it is official: I’ll become the new pastor in Hackenstedt-Sottrum (https://www.kirchenregion-holle.de/gemeinde_new/hackenstedt_sottrum), Heersum (https://www.kirchenregion-holle.de/gemeinde_new/heersum) and Sillium (https://www.kirchenregion-holle.de/gemeinde_new/sillium). These are four villages in Lower-Saxony, about 40 minutes south-east of Hannover and 20 minutes south-east of Hildesheim. It will be quite a change, I expect, to move from to Toronto to Hackenstedt, which has all of 462 citizens. And while I’ll miss Toronto and MLC and all the wonderful people I’ve met since coming here, I’m also looking forward to this new stretch of road in my life. I’m beyond grateful to know already where I’ll be going and where I’ll be serving as a pastor for at least the next three years. And so far, I’ve received a very warm welcome from my future church council president in Hackenstedt-Sottrum and from my future boss, Superintendin Kathrin Henking. So, despite feeling sad about having to leave all of you, I’m also filled with gratitude and excitement for the things to come.
God bless you,
Vicar Silke Fahl