The Rev. Casey dunsworth

serves as Associate Campus Pastor to the Belfry, the Lutheran-Episcopal Campus Ministry to UC Davis

and as Program Director for LEVN, the Lutheran Episcopal Volunteer Network.


Happy Thanksgiving! I have endless people and things for which to be thankful, as usual. I hope the same is true for you. It seems it's been a particularly long time since last Thanksgiving. I've come along way, miles and otherwise.

I am sincerely, eternally grateful for the fellow humans with which I share my life. My friends and family and colleagues and classmates, and people who sit in more than one of those categories, are everything to me. The blessing of being relationship is one I endeavor to never take for granted. I love you all for all that you are and all that I am because of you.

I am thankful that I have two homes -- two places I feel relieved to return to. Two communities that are happy to see me arrive and sorry to see me go. Two landscapes I long for. It's a blessing and a curse, though, as I am missing a significant portion of myself at any given time, as I am missing from one of my homes.

Today, I'm in Encinitas with my parents to celebrate Thanksgiving. My brother is in Michigan with his fiancé's family, Fletcher is in London, my cousins are with their in-laws, and some aunts are in the desert with their dad. It's our first Thanksgiving without Grammy. There are a lot fewer chairs at our Thanksgiving table than usual. Aren't we lucky to have so many people, all over the country and world, to love and celebrate with?

Yesterday, I got to sit in Rico's and devour a breakfast burrito with Nick, the closest friend I've had the longest -- thought it had been nearly two years since we'd done so. And last night, we all sat around his living room with beers and dice and underground rap (like we somehow always manage to get to) and I just reveled in the simultaneous novelty and normality of the feeling.

We live in a complicated world in which it's pretty easy to get wrapped up in how much better things could be, and we have a tendency to reserve our gratitude for momentous occasions and celebrations like Thanksgiving. But every year, I make a list of the things that I am grateful for on a daily basis -- or as often as they grace me with their presence. It's some parts silly and some parts not. You know me. I hope that you can take some moments today to reflect on the things for which you are everyday thankful, and then be mindful of that everyday-ness, every day. [You're welcome.] Here's my list:

Harry Potter (always manages to be first on the list)
hot tea
group text messages
dirty chai lattes
group spiritual direction
Cinna & Gus & puppies in general
The Albatross
beautiful Jesuits
Jon Stewart
bobby pins
transatlantic snapchats
Café Leila
my best friends' mamas
graduate school
cookie dough

This is my body, this is my blood.