Giving Thanks at Thanksgiving

(Originally published on Blogger, Dec 17, 2008)

People of various ages and circumstances flowed into and out of First Lutheran Church’s gym. A local reporter stopped one man who was leaving and asked why he’d come. Nodding back towards the building, the man smiled and replied, “I wouldn’t have celebrated Thanksgiving at all today if it wasn’t for this meal.”

The meal to which he referred that had brightened his holiday so much was part of a special event called Giving Thanks At Thanksgiving. This diner and many others enjoyed a full turkey dinner with all the traditional trimmings. Bibles and other Christian materials lined a nearby table waiting to be handed out to anyone interested. After the people finished their meals, volunteers led them to a room filled with neatly arranged stacks of clothing and blankets where they could pick out and take with them much needed items.

This project came into existence three years ago when a nearby church asked First Lutheran if we would be interested in partnering with them to prepare a home cooked hot meal and serve it with love to those in need. We agreed and our two churches joined together, and went to work forming a plan and pooling our resources including financial help from Thrivent.