The PA Family team has much to be extraordinarily grateful for this year – thanks to you.
Through the ExtraGive event this past Friday, we raised nearly $100,000 – our largest year yet! And this was all thanks to you, our generous supporters, who commit to making Pennsylvania a better place for life, family, faith, and freedom.
But we are grateful for so much more than your generosity. Throughout 2021, you prayed with us; you raised awareness of important issues, legislation, and elections; you shouted your commitment to defending family values here in Pennsylvania.
With your help, we made tremendous strides in fighting for our civil liberties, especially the right to life and religious freedom. Pennsylvania hosted its first March for Life in September and thousands of participants gathered to be a voice for the voiceless. In the November judicial elections, pro-life candidates were elected in every race, indicating that voters want more protection for families and the unborn. Pennsylvania also experienced a win for religious freedom after a unanimous judgement from the Supreme Court in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. All nine justices agreed that Philadelphia violated the rights of Catholic Social Services.
These incredible achievements are only possible through prayer and God’s grace. While there is much work left to do in the fight for Truth, we should pause and take time to reflect on the blessings (and more) we experienced this year together.
As we head into Thanksgiving, where hopefully you will enjoy rest and celebration with your families, I am particularly reminded of Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation, which helped enshrine the national day of thanksgiving in our country. Before President Lincoln, states often organized and scheduled their own days of thanksgiving. His proclamation was yet another way this great president unified our nation.
Reflecting on the abundance of God’s gifts even during a civil war, Lincoln wrote,
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last
Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
Even though we live 158 years later, his words still ring true for us today.
Recent history has seemed dark to many. I know that I am pleading for God to have mercy on our nation, to help us right our wrongs and restore His place of honor in America. We do not deserve forgiveness, yet He forgives. And – He continues to bless.
Yes, even amidst times of national strife and discord, we have so much to be grateful for. Every day – a new opportunity to work for His glory – is an extraordinary gift.
I pray that each of you has a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving holiday.
Pennsylvania Family Institute