Religious Exploration – What does it mean to be a people of abundance?
From Soul Matters, including Katie Covie, Religious Education Resource Coordinator
When it comes to abundance, our culture and our religion are clearly at odds. Our culture cries, “Accumulate!” Our religion counsels “Appreciate!” The mantras couldn’t be more different: The commercials tell us to “Go out and get what you want!” The pulpits plea with us to “learn to want what you have.”
Appreciation is central to this Thanksgiving month. Noticing the abundance around us is clearly the work we are called to do. But one wonders if that’s enough. It all depends on what you do after the noticing is done.
So, what needs to change? Maybe that’s the real question this month. What needs altered so you can dance with what is plentiful rather than worrying about what is scarce? What clutter finally needs cleaned up so there is room for new abundance to enter in? What changes will free you from the urgent and allow in the important?
Yes, people of abundance make time for noticing, but they also make tough choices. Choices that, after they are made, don’t really feel tough at all.
Parents and caretakers can help their children make choices to celebrate abundance. Children usually equate having a lot of something with money or wealth. You could talk about how abundance means being rich in love and gratitude. You can be rich in friends and family. It doesn’t take a lot of friends or family. It just takes love.
Storybooks that can be shared with people of all ages to celebrate abundance
The Table Where Rich People Sit
by Byrd Baylor (Author), Peter Parnall (Illustrator)
As her family attempts to calculate the value of the desert hills, the colors of blooming cactus, and the calls of eagles and great horned owls, a young girl discovers that her impoverished family is rich in things that matter in life, especially being outdoors and experiencing nature.
by Eileen Spinelli (Author), Paul Yalowitz (Illustrator
One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. “Somebody loves you,” the note says. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?” After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!
A Chair for my Mother
by Vera B. Williams (Author, Illustrator
This classic and award-winning picture book was named a Caldecott Honor Book by the American Library Association. “A tender knockout . . . it’s rare to find much vitality, spontaneity, and depth of feeling in such a simple, young book.”—Kirkus Reviews ; After their home is destroyed by a fire, Rosa, her mother, and grandmother save their coins to buy a really comfortable chair for all to enjoy.