In Good Faith

What are you most thankful for?

Jeff Scholes - Agnostic

Jeffrey Scholes, Ph.D., is an associate professor of philosophy and the director of the Center for Religious Diversity and Public Life at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

A great question. There is much to worry about in our country right now and reflecting on what I’m thankful for is something that I haven’t done in a while. I am thankful for my family, a job that I love, great colleagues, and friends near and far. As I write this, my family has steered clear of COVID so far, a situation that I hope to also be thankful for in 2021. I’m looking ahead with thanks. I will be thankful when there is a peaceful transfer of power in January of the new year, and I will be grateful when we begin to mend the torn social fabric of our great nation.

Ahriana Platten - New Thought - Unity

Dr. Ahriana Platten is founder-executive director of In Good Faith, leads Unity Spiritual Center and speaks around the country on the topics of interfaith and intercultural understanding.

I am most thankful for my beloved husband, my children, my mom, my siblings, my grandchildren. These people are my “why.” I am thankful for the beauty of Pikes Peak that regularly takes my breath away. I am thankful for meaningful work and for quiet moments of reflection. I am thankful for the young man in Uganda who calls me mom and whose life is so much more challenging than mine. He reminds me that distance is no obstacle to making the world a better place. I am thankful for friends, for colleagues, for sunshine on my front porch and snow I can observe through my window from my warm living room — and I am thankful for wisdom-keepers, influencers, wordsmiths and artists of all mediums.

Julia McKay - Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Julia McKay is the minister of High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist and a professional spiritual companion dedicated to embodied life practices that enhance our deepest ways of knowing.

I am most thankful for close friends and community that become family of choice when my family or origin is at a distance or unable to be present in my life; living in a place where the brilliant orange paintbrush sky glazes the lone purple mountain whose majesty moves my heart to save this beautiful planet; animal companions who make me laugh every day and remind me of my connection to all sentient beings; the privilege of good health care and access to organic foods; the deep commitment to healthy democracy that I witness in all those working for equity and equanimity; and the Sacred Force of Life that is ever-ready to assist us when we are in tragedy and accompany us when we triumph. 

Ray Hendershot - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Ray has served on a mission to England, has been a bishop, and has held other key leadership positions in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Currently, he works with other faiths to provide service to our community.

We are thankful every day for our family, home and faith. Prayer is an essential part of conveying appreciation to our Heavenly Father for life. When we express thankfulness to God and to his Son, Jesus Christ, we base our faith and repentance upon their forgiveness and their goodness. How grateful we are for the scriptures, which give examples of Jesus Christ expressing thanks to His Heavenly Father. Like the Savior, it is important for each of us to prepare ourselves to give thanks for the atoning sacrifice each week as we attend Church and partake of the sacrament. Reading the scriptures helps us understand and appreciation what Jesus Christ has done for us to enable us to return to His presence after this life. 

— Join the conversation at InGoodFaithConversations.org.