Friday, November 21, 2008

Question for the Community: Thanksgiving at Your Church?

Thanksgiving is less than a week away now.  In the life of churches I have attended in the past, it's simply overlooked as a Thursday before a Sunday that a lot of people will be out of town, right as we enter the time that we should be preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ.

The church I'm currently at, though, does something very different.  Thanksgiving is widely celebrated these days as an event of the Family.  Other holidays have very specific purposes, and sometimes family is involved.  For example, the Fourth of July is celebrating our Declaration of Independence, often celebrated with a picnic with family, but the day itself is focused on other things.  Family is sometimes involved, but not always.  Thanksgiving, though, is all family, all day. 

Our church looks at the congregation as a family, and since you sit with family for a meal on Thanksgiving, they have hosted a church-wide Thanksgiving Dinner for several years now.  It's sort of like a pot luck, but not really.  Everyone gathers and sits at assigned tables with people you may know really well, or people you have never met (rarity).  The church provides the turkey, stuffing and bread, and tables decide in advance who is bringing what sides and deserts. 

There is a little singing, a little homily and a little prayer to close the evening, but the rest of the evening is built on genuine community building.  We went last year for the first time and it was an awesome experience.  It's always the Friday prior to Thanksgiving, which means we're going tonight!

Does your church do anything to celebrate Thanksgiving? 


Anonymous said...

For many years we have had a Thanksgiving morning breakfast with a brief informal time of worship aound the table. It doesn't attract a huge crowd, but some years college students come to make contact with their friends. And those who come enjoy the fellowship and the worship. Sometimes we just have Danish, juice and coffee. This year it's French toast, and the service afterwards will be communion.

Rob Monroe said...

Sarah - that sounds wonderful! I would sign up for an event like that. Sometimes the right thing is the simplest, and that sounds like the right mix!

Sarahlynn said...

My dad likes to hold a Thanksgiving evening service in the sanctuary at his churches, but the church I belong to now isn't observing Thanksgiving (except that the office is closed on Thursday and Friday).

Saturday morning, though, is our big annual church breakfast and hanging of the greens work day.

(We're almost never in town Thanksgiving week/end, so I had to look it up!)

St. Inuksuk said...

Although a church I served a few years ago did this the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I was not a fan. I would've preferred a real pot luck and not a turkey, stuffing, etc. dinner.
I have been looking forward to our roasted turkey for the last couple weeks and don't want to spoil the longing for the taste just a few days prior.