When ThanksGiving becomes ThanksLiving: Tables Become Longer


Some Ideas for New Celebrations:

1. Hold a church family dinner. Invite church families to bring their Thanksgiving dinner to share with those who are alone or needy. In one community, several churches got together and held a free, all-day feast (10:00 a.m.-10:00 p.m.), for those in need. Church members agreed to provide food, fellowship, and various kinds of activities (hymn sings, inspirational talks, films, prayer vigils) throughout the day. Radio publicity and posters brought in many who otherwise would have had little to be thankful for.

2. Several congregations hold “Fastathons” over Thanksgiving. Members ask friends to sponsor them at 10 cents to 25 cents per hour, and join others who are fasting in the church fellowship hall from suppertime Wednesday through suppertime Thursday. (Some bring sleeping bags, others go home to sleep.)

During this fast, films are shown, magazines and books are available, and simulation games are played to teach hunger facts. Worship services, prayer vigils, and Bible studies focus on God’s concern for the world’s poor. Money raised is donated to projects designed to help people help themselves. Each “Fastathon” concludes with a community supper of rice and tea, and Communion.
Patti Sprinkle, St. Petersburg, Florida