Thanksgiving Comes Again
The year has flown by and once again we find ourselves at the beginning of November. I have always enjoyed November, especially as a child. November was that month in the year that was not yet winter, that still had some bright sunny days amid the crisp fall temperatures, and even though the leaves of the trees were either gone or brown, there was still a mysterious kind of beauty that I always enjoyed as I played outdoors for what might have been the last days before the winter wind and rain set in.
And of course, in November, Thanksgiving comes again.
People who know me well know that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. It was when I was a child and it is now. I love the smells of Thanksgiving, the colors of Thanksgiving, the tastes of Thanksgiving. I love the quiet of Thanksgiving morning before anyone in the household is awake—the quiet time before the hustle and bustle of what usually proves to continue from that day through ‘til the end of the year. It is during this quiet time that I am the most reflective, really holding in the prayers of my heart my family and friends that can be found throughout this world. In the moments are also the blessing of my life that come to my mind one by one as if to remind me not to forget to be thankful.
The first year that I worked at Crosslines and the Parish House, I thought a lot about what families would do if they did not have the means to gather their loved ones together on the special day that we call Thanksgiving. I was pleased to find a practice already in place to provide area families with the means to celebrate with family and friends around a table filled with the traditional turkey and all the trimmings—including pumpkin pie. Since that time we see an increase each November of the families that need this opportunity and an increase in the outpouring of love and donations that help us to offer this extra food.
Without the generosity of this community, we would not be able to offer Thanksgiving meals. I am fortunate to work in a community where so many people care that their neighbors around them have the same opportunity for meaningful Thanksgiving celebrations. I cannot say “thank you” enough. I cannot express how grateful I am that we can all work together to make this happen.
So, we are at that time again. Thanksgiving has come again. On November 9th we will begin to distribute the baskets of food to celebrate this special day. Last year we gave out just over 700 meal baskets. If the trend continues as it has for the last several years we will see an increase this year. I will admit it. I am concerned that we will have enough, but I am not worried. I am not worried because I have never known a time when we had to close the doors of Crosslines and the Parish House because we didn’t have enough. I am not worried because I know that I live in the most generous community of all—a place where no one wants to see others do without.
So I am asking for help. Here is what we need and don’t need. We DO NOT need turkeys, potatoes, or cranberry sauce. We do need about 1000 cans of green beans, 1000 cans of corn, 500 boxes of stuffing, and 600 cans of pumpkin or fruit pie filling. Optional items that we give out can include gravy, chicken broth, or canned milk for the pumpkin. We can also use donations of cash to help defray the cost of the turkeys. So, this week, if you are out and about shopping, please pick up some extra canned goods that will help make Thanksgiving dinner for a needy family.
When I think of my blessings this year, I am including all of you who make it easy to offer something good to our neighbor families. Your kindness and generosity are expressions of kindness and love.
To God alone be Glory!
On the parish calendar: Meals. Hot meals are served at the Parish House on Mondays and Fridays at noon. All are welcome.
Goliath Must Fall, a study on the giants—like rejection, fear, anxiety, anger and addiction—that creep into our lives and take over. Sundays, 6 p.m., Chapel Hill UMC. Sponsored by the Band of Brothers, this study uses a video series by Pastor Louie Giglio. One more session to go, November 9. Contact Tim Rock or Steve Foster with any questions.
“Invitations of Jesus,” a study of the book by Trevor Hudson, Wednesdays, 7 p.m., First UMC. How will you respond? Study begins November 4, and you are welcome anytime.
Human Rights Celebration 2015, “Journey Toward Peace,” Friday, November 6, 1:30 p.m., First UMC. Speaker: local attorney Daya Wright. Sponsored by Church Women United, who will be collecting cleaning and paper products for the Parish House.
Ham and Turkey Dinner, Saturday, November 7, noon–? Chapel Hill UMC. Freewill offering benefits Upshur County Christmas Store.
District UMW Day Apart, Saturday, November 7, First UMC
Gospel Sing, Saturday, November 7, Bethel UMC
Thanksgiving baskets – distribution begins, Monday, November 9
Retired Teachers’ Dinner, Tuesday, November 10, Noon, Holy Rosary Parish Hall. Crosslines is catering.
Parish Council, Tuesday, November 10, 5 p.m., Parish House
Pancake Dinner, Wednesday, November 11, 4:30–7 p.m., First UMC. Proceeds benefit the Alternative
Spring Break mission trip by Wesleyan students.
Baked Steak Dinner, Friday, November 13, 4:30-7 p.m., Chapel Hill UMC. Proceeds benefit 2016 mission trip
Community Family Movie, Inside Out, Saturday, November 14, 2 p.m., Chapel Hill UMC sanctuary. Free popcorn and candy! Everyone welcome.
Christmas Shopping Extravaganza, Sunday, 15 November, 5-7 p.m., Chapel Hill UMC. Proceeds from sales by various vendors will benefit CHUMC mission team.
Youth Fall Workshop, “Going the Extra Mile to Love,” Friday-Sunday, November 20-22, Cedar Lakes Conference Center, Ripley