- “Flashback: Thanks-Giving Square gave space for gratitude to the public in 1977.” Dallas Morning News | May 10, 2018 | LINK
- “North Texas Faith Leaders Embark on MLK Legacy Road Trip.” NBC5 News | April 1, 2018 | LINK
- “Peter Stewart Created Thanks-Giving Square, an Oasis in Downtown Dallas.” The Wall Street Journal | January 26, 2018 | LINK
- “Pearl Harbor remembered at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas.” Dallas Morning News | December 7, 2017 | LINK
- “Dallas’ Faith Leaders Discuss Ways To Heal Racial Divides.” Dallas Observer | November 30, 2017 | LINK
- “Activists at Dallas protest say Trump’s refugee policies go too far.” Dallas Morning News | November 13, 2017 | LINK
- “Dallas #PrayforLasVegas vigil at Thanks-Giving Square.” WFAA-TV | October 2, 2017 | LINK
- “Through Dialogue, Interfaith Leaders Hope North Texans Will Better Understand Each Other.” KERA | June 28, 2017 | LINK
- “Ascending Circle.” Texas Architect Magazine | May / June 2017 | LINK
- “National Day of Prayer brings North Texans together during distressing week.” The Dallas Morning News | May 4, 2017 | LINK
- “Immigration rally in Thanks-Giving Square promotes unity.” Dallas Voice | January 30, 2017 | LINK
- “Vigil To Show Support For Refugees To Be Held Tonight.” CBS Local | January 30, 2017 | LINK
- “Commemorate lost loved ones this month at Thanks-Giving Square.” The Dallas Morning News | December 9, 2016 | LINK
- “Former Beth Am rabbi speaks at Dallas memorial.” The Miami Herald | July 17, 2016 | LINK
- “The Bright Heart of Dallas.” Patheos | July 9, 2016 | LINK
- “‘Does It Always Have to Be That Hatred Forces Us To Love?’: Thanks-Giving Square, 7/8/16.” D Magazine FrontBurner | July 8, 2016 | LINK
- “The day after in Dallas: ‘I believe this city will be better and see better days’.” Los Angeles Times | July 8, 2016 | LINK
- “Prayer Service Held in Thanks-Giving Square.” NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth | July 8, 2016 | LINK
- “Remarks by the President at Memorial Service for Fallen Dallas Police Officers.” whitehouse.gov | July 12, 2016 | LINK
- November 2019 Month of Gratitude Email | LINK
- November 2018 Annual Report Email | LINK
Rabbi Nancy Kasten
The Hebrew Bible is very clear. Plenty and wellbeing do not come from hard work or good fortune, but from the source of all, the Holy One, Creator of all that was and is and will be. Our blessings come from God, and in return, we are asked to be faithful stewards of those blessings, using them to create the kind of society that God would wish to inhabit.
In his book God in Search of Man, the philosopher and rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel states ”There is no reverence for God without reverence for man (sic). Love of man(sic) is the way to the love of God.” Each of our traditions is clear in its own way: Our love for God is hollow if we do not exhibit it in our daily treatment of our fellow human beings.
In Biblical times the sabbatical year was observed, not only for purposes of sustainable agriculture, but out of a profound commitment and respect for human life. Every seven years there was a remission of debt, in order to prevent systemic poverty from taking root and destroying communal integrity and wellbeing. The sabbatical year was a reset button, a measure to prevent inequities from building up and compounding one another. It was a tangible way to demonstrate love of human beings, above and beyond the love of material possessions. It was a way for us to make God’s power of redemption manifest in the world on a regular basis, so that we wouldn’t forget that it’s potential is there for us, not just every seven years, but in every single moment of every single day.
In today’s world, we desperately need a reset button. We need to find our version of a sabbatical year. Inequities in housing, education, jobs, transportation, public health, and public safety have formed a Gordian knot in which no one area can be addressed without addressing the others. It will take bold and brave thinking, and a willingness to give up some of what we think is rightfully ours, in order to begin to unravel that knot. And before we can even begin, we have to loosen our own knots; of pain, of disappointment, of di
We must reclaim our ancient knowledge that corporations are not people. Only people are people. And each person is created in God’s image, and deserves to be treated that way, all the time. We are not allowed to pay anyone less than they rightfully earn, or withhold medical treatment from them, or close their schools, or deprive them of safe drinking water, or let them freeze to death on the street, or incarcerate them without due process. We are not allowed to say “We’re sorry, but we just can’t figure it out,” even if we don’t yet see a way to figure it out.
In the story of the Exodus, the last three plagues visited upon the Egyptians before Pharoah
The plagues come as a result of hardened hearts. With the first seven plagues, Pharoah hardens his own heart. And with the last three, God hardens Pharaoh’s heart, as if to make sure he and we get the message: when hearts are hardened and human suffering is not addressed, darkness descends. Wecan only hope to keep that darkness at bay if we work together to keep our hearts tender. We can and must model what openheartedness and an attitude of abundance can do. We can and must search together for rays of light to loosen the Gordian knot that keeps so many in bondage. On this day of prayer we pray for redemption, and we also pray for the humility, the creativity, the strength, the generosity and the courage to be agents of redemption, joining our unique and varied gifts in such a way that systems of oppression become systems of opportunity, and God’s light shines brightly enough to drive out the darkness.
The Reverend Dr. Neil G. Cazares-Thomas (Senior Pastor, Cathedral of Hope United Church of Christ)
God of many names, known to us individually and personally. As people of faith, spanning many traditions and experiences, we come this day to pray for unity and to call upon the best that we know of You to be made real in us.
In a world of division and discrimination, of divisive actions and disenfranchised communities, on this 23rd annual prayer breakfast, we know that we have not lined up to what we know is good and holy. We know that we can do better and that You challenge us, because of our faith, to bring down the systems of oppression that have brought us to this place.
God — we are bold enough, this day, to call them by their names: Racism; Ageism; Sexism; White Privilege; Misogyny; Homophobia; Patriarchy; Transphobia.
God, it feels as though we live with a lot of fear, when You call us to live with a lot of love – Perfect Love – Your love – casts out our fear.
Increase our capacity to love our neighbor: Muslim, Hindu, B’hai, Jewish, Athiest; HIV+; Queer; Immigrant and undocumented neighbor; Addicted; Refugee; Our imprisoned; Transgender.
Give us a sense of what it means when we say – “But by the grace of God.”
We give thanks for the leadership of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. We thank you that unity, diversity and inclusion have been values that drive her. By Your grace, encourage her to make these values ever present in the halls and on the floor of the Senate as she speaks truth to power.
Thank you for her radical inclusion of “other” as she represents us all in Washington, DC.
Bless us now, with the power of shalom, salaam, peace as we work together for the cause of unity and harmony, and equality.
And so it is – Amen and Ameen.
- “A Prayer for the Service of Light and Remembrance: Remembering our Homeless Neighbors” at First United Methodist Church Dallas | November 6, 2016 | LINK