During my first Thanksgiving with Marsha and her family in Maysville, KY in 1979, I ate my first and last of oyster dressing.  It is similar to a lot of traditional dressings one has at Thanksgiving, but it was not part of my experience growing up.  It was wonderful.  It was my last taste because before the next Thanksgiving I had discovered my severe allergy to shellfish.  When the whole family gathers, there is still oyster dressing, but I eat the regular dressing.

We all encounter differences in the food that is “traditional” in one family and completely different in another.  Change means tasting new dishes, and experiencing new ways to give thanks.  It can become a real blessing to allow for our traditions to grow and change.

This November, we will celebrate our church family’s Thanksgiving fellowship dinner in our remodeled Fellowship Hall.  This will be our first regularly scheduled fellowship time in the renewed facility, and will be a time of remembering and giving thanks.

This November there will be many families in Warner Robins, who may get little for their Thanksgiving dinners.  There are many in Warner Robins who will be hungry on Thanksgiving Day.  Hunger is a major problem, not only in places like Africa and Asia, but also in our neighborhoods, in our backyards, or across our streets.  We need to give Thanks for our blessings, but we also need to be a blessing to others!

Therefore, this Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner will be a different ”tradition.”  We need to remember to be thankful for all of the gifts God has provided, even the simple gifts.  The dinner this November will be a soup and corn bread meal.  Beth Bickley and Ann Von Almen will be sharing information on how you can help with the meal and what to bring.  But there is something we should all bring, food for others!

During the month of November, bring in canned goods, bring in the fixings for your favorite dish, bring in your “traditional” Thanksgiving foods and we will get it to the food pantries in town.  A basket will be in front of the Communion table for the month, and it will be brought down to the Fellowship Hall on the night of the dinner.  We can give thanks for all that our church family does to help each other in our church, community and beyond.  We can also celebrate the opportunity to make sure that other families will have something for which to give thanks.

It will be different.  Rather than stuffing ourselves with turkey and dressing on a Sunday night, we will give thanks for different soups and corn bread and fixings.  We will rejoice that we are blessed and that we can be a blessing to others.  Make plans to attend the Thanksgiving Fellowship Dinner and start sharing the thankfulness.

Shalom,  Darrell