Thanksgiving is one of the most popular and celebrated holidays. Set to take place the fourth Thursday of November, families gather from near and far to be with their loved ones and to celebrate all that they are thankful for. For those that do not have the fortune of having a family or do not have the means to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the church steps in and serves the community for the greater good. No matter what community one resides in, there is always a need, and the church, which is an organism in that community is called to cater to that need. There are many ways that church can bring Thanksgiving to the community. Listed below are some of the best ways that this can be accomplished:
Serving Thanksgiving Dinner to the Community
For the past few years, Pastor Frederick Caldwell of Grace Community Fellowship Church in Atlanta, Georgia feeds over thousands of people at his church’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner. GCFC’s main goal is to provide this dinner for the homeless that are living in tents and under bridges, people living in hotels with children, seniors who live alone, and men and women who reside in ex-offender re-entry programs. Along with the Thanksgiving meal, those that attend will be provided with clothing, medical screenings, haircuts, manicures, and healthcare kits. In addition to all that will be provided, GCFC will provide transportation both to and from Thanksgiving Dinner.
Volunteer at a local Homeless Shelter
During this time of the year with the holidays rapidly approaching, many families are in homeless shelters and suffering in other areas of their lives. Homeless shelters are in desperate need of volunteers to help them service those living in the shelters. This can be a great opportunity to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those that need some good news. True ministry is providing a natural need, while having the goal of bringing others to Christ.
Turkey Giveaways are very popular among churches today. It is so popular that even celebrities have started to do it. This is a great way to give back to your community and let them know that you are visible, and not hiding behind the four walls of the church. While giving out turkeys and or other foods, you can pass out publication about your church and the different kinds of programs offered.
Around this time of year, the weather changes from scorching hot temperatures to frigid temperatures. We must keep in mind the less fortunate and their inability to buy blankets, coats, hats, scarves, and so on. Starting a blanket drive in your community for those in need would be a great way to celebrate the Thanksgiving season.
Host a Festival
Festivals are always fun. Holding a festival can be a way that the church can bring Thanksgiving to their community. It is also a great time that people can come together and celebrate the festivities of Thanksgiving while donating for a great cause. A church can put together vendors and performers and charge a small admission fee. The proceeds can go to those of the community that are in need.
How can your church get involved in bringing Thanksgiving to the local community?