I absolutely love the season from Thanksgiving to Christmas. Without a doubt, it’s my favorite time of year. The weather turns crisp and breezy, people seem to smile a little more, and we all make time to gather with the people we love. Stir in some football and home cooking, and that’s a recipe for an incredible season.
I’m even more excited about Thanksgiving this year because there’s a brand-new community that I can’t wait to celebrate with. Before we all go our separate ways and head “over the river and through the woods,” we want to spend time together celebrating all that God has done this year and inviting our entire local community to join in the party.
On Sunday, November 23 at 5pm, we’ll gather together as a church for Thanksgiving dinner. It may seem like a silly idea, something reminiscent of “dinner on the grounds” or another old-school tradition. It may not seem as spiritual or “church-y” as a typical Parish Gathering. But it might just be more important than anything else we do, and here’s why:
We each have reason to celebrate. Over the past eleven months, I’ve had the privilege of getting to know so many new people and hearing the stories of what God is doing in all of our lives. And in every story, there are huge reasons to celebrate. Babies have been born, God has provided supernaturally, people have begun a new journey of surrender and healing. God has graciously guided each one of us in a path of Formation, and we all have a reason to give thanks.
We have a story to celebrate together. A year ago, The Parish was just a thought on paper, and most of us had never met one another. Today, new friendships have been forged, and God has provided for our church in miraculous ways. The Parish story, our story, is one of a Community growing in love as God calls us week after week to His table. This dinner is our chance to gather at the table again, and break bread together as we give thanks for all that He has done.
Most importantly: We have a community to love. Thanksgiving often seems like a “huddle up” holiday, where we turn inward to spend time with our closest family. But that’s not how Jesus taught us to live, and as a part of God’s Kingdom we’re called to continually reach out in Mission. We think there’s no better way than to invite our entire local community to share at the table. Look around you and find your “parish.” Who are your friends and neighbors? Who do you know that needs a good celebration? Who do you know that would enjoy some time to smile, laugh, and eat without any fear of being judged or criticized? There’s a seat at the table for everyone, and it’s our job to invite and welcome them in.
Formation, Community and Mission, all shared with joy at the table. That’s what The Parish is all about. Ready to join us? Here’s what you need to do:
- Click here to RSVP and let us know you’re coming.
- Click here to sign up and bring a dish. (The Parish is providing the turkey and ham, but you can make this a killer meal!)
- Invite 3 people. Friends, neighbors, co-workers. Who’s in your “parish” that needs to be invited. Reach out, and bring them with you for a great evening together.
We have reason to be thankful, and we have reason to celebrate. So let’s do what Jesus did. Let’s call in the neighbors, welcome them all with a smile, sit down to a great meal, give thanks and share a great evening. Let’s gather together at the Thanksgiving table.