The clouds and rain kindly gave way to beautiful sunshine as we relished in the spirit of Thanksgiving on the Quad yesterday afternoon. As we keep our gatherings to a limited number of students, the annual Prayer Circle was offered in-person to our graduating class only, with all others celebrating with chapel services dedicated to thankfulness and gratitude.
Staff and students who this year hail from 28 countries, including Canada, paid tribute and respect to our diversity during the multi-faith, non-denominational celebration. Students provided readings from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, African, and Anishinaabe traditions, and read in their native languages of Arabic, Hebrew, German, Finnish, Spanish, Russian, Persian, Mandarin, Korean, French, and English.
Mr. Dave Stewart, Coordinator of Student Engagement and Wellness, shared inspirational stories of kindness, goodness, humanitarianism, and faith. He said that with all that is wrong in the world today, he wanted to tell good stories, such as Maya Ghazal being the first Syrian refugee to get her pilot’s license; five-year-old Carver Tinning, who wanted to give thanks to firefighters battling wildfires by giving away his prized Baby Yoda; NBA player, Marc Gasol, who rescued refugees in the Mediterranean Sea; late actor, Chadwick Boseman, who believed in equal pay for women; and the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who paved the way for women and people across the world.
“It’s what you do when no one is watching that says everything about your character,” said Mr. Stewart. “Don’t let anyone tell you that one person cannot make a difference because you can, but not without being thankful and having gratitude.”
At the end of the ceremony, Mr. Stewart challenged the boys to take time this Thanksgiving to reflect on all they are thankful for and to thank those who have given them so much.
The Thanksgiving Prayer Circle was introduced 20 years ago by former SAC Chaplain, Rev. Bruce Roffey, and has become a time of thoughtfulness as we head into a long weekend dedicated to thanks.
Story by Nicolette Fleming