More and more congregations are doing things like this:
We had a number of people who were new to the community and without ties to family and friends here. So several men in the church volunteered to cook turkey for Thanksgiving for these people. One woman made a list of things to bring and filled in names of persons willing to bake a pie or bring a vegetable. Many of us were skeptical about how well it would come off, but about two weeks before the holiday approximately 35 people had signed up. We ended up with 60. One of the former ministers of the church came back with his family, so this became a way that they could share in the giving of thanks. While many single people showed up, a surprising number of families did too. Mothers escaped the labor of slaving all day in the kitchen for one big orgy, followed by endless dishwashing while the men watched football.
Before and after the meal, there were puzzles, games, and discussion starters. Someone was going to bring a television, but fortunately it was broken, so all of us escaped the trappings of the “boob-tube.” After the dinner, the price of the meal was announced and people were asked to donate about a dollar if they could.
It was a real success. Another event was planned for New Year’s Day and people are thinking about it for this year again. While the idea is simple, it provided a real opportunity for people without a place to celebrate Thanksgiving and an alternative for those traditionally trapped by “family.”
– Rev. Jerry Haas, Pacific Beach United Methodist Church, San Diego, California