View this email in your browser

Higher Ground


"Are you actively practicing generosity and vulnerability in order to make the connections between you and others clear, open, available, durable?" This question, from author Adrienne Maree Brown from her book Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, is a halting one. It is a paradigmatic shift to couple generosity and vulnerability, isn't it? Well a different "Brown," Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly and Atlas of the Heart, says, NO! Generosity and vulnerability is where we find the inner strength and courage to make stronger bonds and connections which help us to offer our lives as "clear, open, available, durable."

At Thanks-Giving Square generosity and vulnerability has been our North star. When coupled with generosity or gratitude, grounding us in the present, vulnerability opens us to learning, discovering, accepting, inquiring, and, maybe if we let it, changing. 
Over the last month, the Thanks-Giving Square was home to three courageous conversations: A "Comfort Women's" vigil [as pictured above], a racial equity conversation with business leaders in our chapel, and a visit and conversation with Ms. Opal Lee. In each of these experiences, the participants were invited to recognize their discomfort with a conversation that may be part of their unknowing, ignorance, or willful inaction; the invitation was not to shrink in shame, guilt, fear or anger, but to allow those feelings to arise. Then, participants were invited to compassionately and non-judgmentally inquire about their unknowing, or withdrawing from difficult conversations. Finally, conversation partners were asked to nourish their unknowing with new knowledge and begin again with this new information to live with this new lens on life. This is generosity and vulnerability in action. 

This simple tool of experiencing life by recognizing, allowing, inquiring, and nourishing can help to stay in hard conversations and make them courageous life changing ones... You, dear one, reading these very words: the world, our country, our state, our city, your neighborhood, your family, is expecting people to rise with courage. We can be a people of Courageous Thanks-Giving!

And, we are a grateful people for the ways our courageous conversations enables us to come face-to-face with those who inspire us to Higher Ground! 

(Photo: Diane Symons; meeting of Kyle Ogden and Opal Lee) 

Featured News

The Thanks-Giving Community Honors Almas Muscatwalla
A Letter to Our Community from Kyle Ogden
Dear Friends,

After over ten years of leadership with the Thanks-Giving Community, Almas Muscatwalla has decided to step away from her roles with the Thanks-Giving Foundation Board of Directors, Faith Forward Dallas, and the Interfaith Council. Her contributions during her tenure were many, including as one of the founding members of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Square. In the coming weeks, Dr. Andy Stoker and I will work with those in leadership in these representative groups to determine a path for administration of our community.

In Almas’ letter to our Board Chair, Chris Trowbridge and me, she mentioned that she has “offered time, thought, knowledge, passion and soul to the foundation…” Although she is not sure what she will do next, Almas mentioned “travel, learning and serving in some way.” We are hopeful she does have a chance to restore and replenish herself and relationship with her family. If ever there was someone that deserved a “pause,” it is Almas!

I am incredibly grateful for the important work that Almas has done in the community in the name of Thanks-Giving Square. On behalf of the Thanks-Giving Foundation, the Interfaith Council, and Faith Forward Dallas, it has been a joy to work with her and to witness her powerful presence for good. Not only have we benefitted here at Thanks-Giving Square, but all of North Texas is better because of her! Almas assures me that the Thanks-Giving Foundation will continue to be one of her touchpoints in the future and that she will stay engaged in bettering our community.
With deep gratitude,

Another successful month with Serving Up Gratitude in August! 

OVER 3,000 meals served!

As a reminder, Serving Up Gratitude is a partnership with the North Texas Cares! coalition of funders. Our July and August activity provided meals for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, the Dallas County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, and Children's Health Emergency Department Staff. To learn more or to make a donation, click here.

Kyle and Andy visited one of the restaurant
partners' owner, Kris Manning,
with Smokey Joe's Barbecue,
to say THANKS for a job well done!

Upcoming Events


The Thanks-Giving Foundation joins the community effort to read The Accommodation with Big D Reads. We have been invited to host conversations and meetings around the reading, and, we are doing it in our own contemplative way. See below for the opportunities to connect with the Thanks-Giving Community. For more information and to register for our Thanks-Giving Square Big D Reads events, please go to:  

AND, we have a book for you! Please sign up to reserve your book. Books are available now.

WORLD GRATITUDE DAY, September 21: The Thanks-Giving Foundation is hosting a day full of contemplative and meditation activities, including our Big D Reads connections, to share gratitude for this present history we are living to affect positive change for racial healing and justice. It will be a day of peace and thanksgiving for our shared and common humanity.

Sign Up!
September 8 ... Valarie Kaur: See No Stranger

Thanks-Giving Square is joining Faith Commons and a number of other sponsors to engage Valarie Kaur. Ms. Kaur is a renowned civil rights leader, lawyer, award-winning filmmaker, educator, innovator, and best-selling author of See No Stranger. She leads the Revolutionary Love Project to reclaim love as a force for justice. Valarie burst into American consciousness in the wake of the 2016 election when her Watch Night Service address went viral with 40 million views worldwide. Her question “Is this the darkness of the tomb – or the darkness of the womb?” reframed the political moment and became a mantra for people fighting for change. 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th: Valarie Kaur will offer a Public Lecture and Book Signing, from 7:30 - 9:00 Temple Emanu-El (8500 Hillcrest Rd, 75225). This lecture event—to include a book signing—is open to the public. 

The following day, September 9, Ms. Kaur will lead us in an intensive workshop. Tickets for this workshop are $250. A copy of See No Stranger is included with this ticket purchase, as well as a box lunch. The workshop is being held September 9 at 11:00 a.m. at Paul Quinn College in the Grand Lounge. 
(The Eventbrite page, above, has registration for the September 8th evening lecture and book signing
at the Museum as well as registration for the workshop on September 9th at Paul Quinn College.) 
Faiths in Conversation

Starting September 12, 2022, and, monthly, through February 13, 2023, our Inter-Faith Council is hosting "Faiths in Conversation: Ethic of Creation Care." Participants will join this monthly on-line series via a ZOOM link that will be provided upon registration. See below for details. 


Gratitude Spotlight

Each month, visitors (of all ages) leave about 500 expressions of gratitude on our Gratitude Wall inside the Chapel of Thanks-Giving. Here (below) is a sampling of a few of our August favorites. You are invited to leave your own personal expression of gratitude on our Gratitude Wall when you visit Thanks-Giving Square, or online when you visit our Facebook Page.
Donate to Support Our Work
If you have suggestions or comments, please contact
Copyright © 2021 Thanks-Giving Square, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
1627 Pacific Ave, Dallas, TX 75201

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.