From the Parsonage…
Those days of opening the windows that I talked about last month were certainly short lived! It seems like we made a giant jump into cold weather as we experience frost warnings and move the plants indoors. This time of year makes me want to pull out the flannel pajamas, look for
a good book, heat up a cup of hot chocolate, and settle in for the winter. Sounds nice, doesn’t it? But just when I get all excited about this picture, I look at the calendar and realize how close we are to the holidays and all the activity that goes along with them!
Here at Maineville UMC, final plans are underway for the annual Turkey Dinner, which will take place on November 10 this year. This will be my first experience at this event, which is an opportunity for the church members to share their culinary and craft talents with the community and, at the same time, to raise funds for the LaCroix New Testament Mission in Haiti.
Of course, the highlight of November is Thanksgiving, and I just discovered something interesting. Did you know there is actually some debate about its beginning? Although most of us think of the 1621 feast between the Pilgrims and Indians at Plymouth, Massachusetts, a prior event also took place in Virginia in 1619. The Plymouth feast of thanksgiving was due to a good harvest and the fact that the settlers already had the religious “Days of Thanksgiving” tradition. In Virginia, the religious ceremony celebrating the safe arrival of English settlers was based on the group's charter, which stated "that the day of our ships arrival...shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God." At any rate, whichever option we choose, the bottom line is that thanks was given to God for His blessings.
Today, we celebrate Thanksgiving as a time that typically draws family members together who may have only seen each other a few times during the rest of the year. Many families have developed their own traditions about this day, including the menu, who brings certain dishes, whether they play games or watch football after the meal, and even pre-Black Friday shopping trips. In some cases, as the family has grown to involve other families, there is even a tradition of spending part of Thanksgiving Day in two or three different homes. Unfortunately, all the preparations and busyness of putting the whole thing together can sometimes result in our celebration becoming more stressful and less joyful. Remember, no matter how busy we become or what our traditions are, we need to hold on to the true meaning of the day…Giving Thanks to God for all He has given us!