Thanksgiving and Thankfulness
CAPT Chev. Clay Kemmerer, USN (ret), GCTJ, GMTJ
Grand Prior XXI, GPUSA

Dear Knights and Dames:

Well, 'tis that time of year again. No, not thinking of pumpkin spice everything. Not thinking of winterizing my small engines (though I should be) or mulching plants or laying in firewood. Nor buying presents or decorations or salt for the driveway. 'Tis the time of year, though it should be a focus throughout the year – for Thankfulness. For recognizing how incredibly blessed we all are, and humbly seeking to return such blessings to others while being eternally grateful for them.

I am thankful for so many things. That I had good parents and the good fortune to be born in this country and in good health. That I nonetheless had some challenges and adversity to work through along the way, which made me a stronger and wiser person. That I grew up in a somewhat simpler time, which gives one a perspective and understanding that he or she would not otherwise have. That, whatever gifts I was naturally blessed with and whatever I did to make the most of them, there was nonetheless a very, very healthy dose of good luck and divine providence… things certainly could have turned out far differently. And that my life’s journey has led me to so many far flung places, from which I have learned firsthand not only of the rich diversity of this world, but also of how incredibly better off we in this country and a few others are.

I am thankful that my parents are still with us, and that their health is not worse than it is. For healthy children and those two precious granddaughters and our new home in the mountains of Tennessee.

I am continually thankful for my fellow Knights and Dames, my Templar family, in all their beautifully different personal perspectives and interests and ideas, and underlying those, all the same in our universal dedication and charitable commitment to assisting Christians at Risk, and others, both in our communities and in the Holy Land. I am mindful as well of those Templars who have departed, and the legacy they have left us, from whom we have inherited the watch. And I’m thankful as well for the Christians who endure in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East, and elsewhere in oppressed areas around the globe, in quite a few cases in most unenviable circumstances. But they are there, and we pray for them and that our small efforts in the larger scheme of things might make a difference to them.

Thanksgiving is not a just a day… nor should it even be confined to a season. If anything the Day of Thanksgiving should simply serve as a reminder of the spirit that we should more quietly have each day of the year. And the season that it heralds – wonderfully – comes to a high point as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, and concludes a few days later, so appropriately, with a celebration of new beginnings on New Year’s Day.

In one week from this writing, I shall be in the Holy Land, delivering our gifts and meeting with those in whose lives and works we hope to make such a difference. I am thankful each day for the truly immense generosity of this Templar family – and I can assure you, they are thankful as well. I pray that we can continue to build upon and continually grow in our mission and the support, the hope, that we deliver.

Let us all reflect on these things, on the myriad ways in which we are blessed, and on what do and what more we can do to be a part of the good fortune in the lives of others, as we pray in deep gratitude for all that we are, and all that we have.

Blessings to you all and to yours during this joyous season – and thank YOU for the many ways in which you each serve our Order.

Humbly yours,



November 2018
Regular publication of SMOTJ GPUSA

In This Issue

  A Word from the Grand Prior

  Of Kith and Kin

  Milwaukee - 2019

  Many Ways to Contribute

  Doc's Corner

  Summer Templars Update

  Priory News

  Priory News (Cont'd)

  Priory News (Cont'd)

  GPUSA Calendar


CAPT Chev. Clay Kemmerer, USN (ret), GCTJ, GMTJ, Grand Prior XXI

Templar Times Editor
Chvse. Analee V. Evans, GOTJ

Chvse. Michael Ann Robinson DCTJ
Chev. Robert Orin Holmes, Sr., GCTJ, CMTJ

Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini Tuo Da Gloriam ®

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