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Letter From The Rector

Always Give Thanks

The following proclamation was made by Governor Bradford in 1623, three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth, Massachusetts:

To all ye Pilgrims,

Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams; and inasmuch as He has protected us from the raids of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, and has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the daytime, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

On Thanksgiving Day, we, like those early Pilgrims, will set aside time in our busy schedules to gather with family and friends around a meal to give thanks to God for the good things he provides for us. And this is a good and proper thing for “ye” and “me” to do. The Bible makes it very clear, however, that we should be thankful people each and every day. In his first letter to the Christians living in ancient Thessalonica, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) As Christians, we are to be thankful for all that we receive and all that we have. But Christian thanksgiving is more than acknowledging the gift; it is also acknowledging, pointing to, and praising (out of thanksgiving, and in action) the Person who gives simply because of who He is- a loving, and caring, and gracious God, whom we can come to know and experience in Jesus Christ.

Join us on Wednesday evening, November 22nd (Thanksgiving Eve) for our annual Community Thanksgiving Eve service to be held this year at 7 PM at Riverside Baptist Church (Sellger Drive). Pastor Fred Williams will officiate and I will be preaching. Also participating will be the clergy of Aldersgate UMC, East Coast Gospel Lighthouse, and St. James Holiness Church. The music will be presented by choir members from those same five churches. A reception will follow in Riverside’s fellowship hall. I hope to see you at this this wonderful celebration of thanksgiving to God.

Peace and Love,
John+