The Kingdom of God is a Christ-centered kingdom.
I will thank you in the great congregation;
in the mighty throng I will praise you (Psalm 35:18).
Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is less than a month away! 2016 has rocketed by. Sure, there have been a lot of vexing moments and serious trials over the past 10 months, and some of them are best forgotten. But as I, your pastor, look back, I also remember how many good gifts we have received, and for these we should give thanks.
I want you to schedule an appointment in Google or mark the calendar on your refrigerator or do whatever you do to set aside a block of time. Sunday evening, November 20, at 5:00 p.m. we will gather in the sanctuary for a one-hour service. Its purpose is for God’s people to offer thanks to God together as a “great congregation”: to borrow more of the words from Psalm 35, I want us to praise God “in the mighty throng.” So we’ll sing and hear testimonies from one another of how good God has been. A potluck dinner will follow, allowing us unhurried time to enjoy rich fellowship and good food.
Having a Thanksgiving service is part of the history of Stone Hill. Way back in 1956, when our church, “Westerly Road,” began, its very first service took place on Thanksgiving Day. Since then, we’ve held a service on the holiday. In the past ten years, however, it has become increasingly difficult for people to attend. Traveling, hosting family and friends from out of town, serving a hot turkey meal to those in need through the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen or other ministries of mercy—these sorts of things have prevented people from gathering. And for those who have attended, there has not been much time afterward to sit and talk and go deeper.
This new service on the Sunday before Thanksgiving will allow us to do what the Scriptures and our church founders intend. We will gather as brothers and sisters in Christ, hear words of praise and thanksgiving, and honor the God who provides for us. We will then share a home-cooked meal and enjoy being the people of God under God’s good care. I can’t wait! I hope you will join me.