Minister’s Musings – November 2023

The Gift of Generosity & Native American Heritage Month

Our November theme is the “gift of generosity,” and I feel like this should be an easy thing to reflect on.  Generosity is about giving, right?  So my first impulse is to think about how we give our time and talent and treasure in the spirit of stewardship, to take care of that which is ours.  That resonates.  But it’s missing something, and I think that something might be found in remembering that the theme is the gift of generosity.  What might that be?

I think one gift is an invitation to relationship, and it lies in the difference between giving and giving generously- giving often comes from what we have “extra,” which requires little spiritual or emotional investment.  Generosity invites us to dig deeper, calling us to discern what’s most important and examine why we give, inviting intention/spirit/energy/god into the space between giver and receiver – creating relationship.  And in that way, generosity is transformational.  When we accept the gift of relationship from our generosity, it opens us up to the world around us, and we cannot help but be changed.  And when it’s the other way around, when we’re the recipient of someone else’s generosity, we are invited into the same kind of opening.  Have you ever been in a hurry at the grocery store and have someone invite you to move ahead of them in the line?  Or have someone cover the cost of your drink when you forgot your wallet at the coffee shop?  The world feels less harsh when generosity is offered, and that invites a change of heart.  And that leads to a third gift of generosity- the challenge to justice.  As we’re opened through the generosity we give and receive, we begin to question why some have more than others, and we learn to see the places around us that are characterized by greed and individualism.  And when we see the injustices created by these worldviews in the frame that an attitude of generosity has provided us, we want to make change.

November is also Native American Heritage Month.  Please follow this link and this link to find public events you can attend to learn about local Native people and cultures.  And I invite you to explore these gifts of generosity – relationship, transformation, and justice – as you offer your time, talent, and treasure to celebrate the gifts of our Native siblings.  Here are some ways you can do that (thank you to the Wisconsin Council of Churches for this list from Kaitlin Curtice):

  • Grab all the you’re on native land merch here, and make sure your favorite family members get something for the holidays!
  • This website is an incredible resource for anyone who wants to know which children’s books are appropriate in representation of Indigenous peoples. Use it often and buy the books recommended by Dr. Debbie Reese, the website’s founder.
  • Are you a fan of comics? Super Indian is a wonderful pick. Grab them here.
  • Donate to The Kwek Society, an organization working to end period poverty for those in Indian Country.
  • Subscribe to the Liminality Journal. Supporting this work allows me (Kaitlin Curtice) to write and share resources like these with you all on a regular basis. Consider joining the Liminality community!
  • Buy medicine soaps and other products from Haipazaza, an Indigenous-run wellness brand. They make wonderful holiday gifts and the soaps are beautiful.
  • And, of course, USE GOOGLE! There are so many incredible lists of companies and organizations out there. The tools are available if we are willing to find them.

In faith and love


[November 2023]