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Thanksgiving Eve service open to entire community

by Rev. John S. Smylie

It has been my pleasure to become acquainted with some colorful clergy who are imaginative in delivering meaningful messages to their congregations.

One dear friend decided that he would vacuum the sanctuary of the church during the service time for the sermon. His congregation sat in their pews for 10 minutes wondering what in the heck was going on. Had their pastor lost his mind?

Amazingly, everyone sat patiently and when the vacuuming was finished, the pastor put the vacuum away and returned to the pulpit. And told his flock that he decided to vacuum that day because he felt his pastoral messages were landing on deaf ears. No matter what he preached it seemed to him that the behavior and commitment of this congregation remained the same.

He didn't see any results from his preaching because the congregation didn't do any work on their part to grow and become more Christ-like. He vacuumed, he told them, so that the use of his time was purposeful.

Another pastor (one of my dear friends) admonished his congregation that if they didn't come to Thanksgiving Eve service, there was a good chance that they would choke on their turkey bones! The point of the quip is-if we can't take time to give thanks to God in God's house on Thanksgiving, then something is very wrong with the way we are celebrating the holiday and managing our spiritual lives.

I am delighted this year to be the celebrant for the Thanksgiving Eve service - 7 p.m. - Holy Trinity Episcopal Church - 4th & Edison in Sunnyside. It is my pleasure to invite the whole community to join in welcoming "Thanksgiving To God" in song, sweet fellowship, and the feast of our Lord's supper.

"Come-gather together and together we ask the Lord's blessing!" (and not take a chance on choking on turkey bones!)

Reverend John S. Smylie is the interim priest at the Holy Trinity Espisocal Church in Sunnyside.

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