I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day and are enjoying these pre-Advent days, whether you are working, shopping, decorating, or relaxing. I write to thank everyone for the beautiful hours of ministry in which many of you shared yesterday.
According to our chief tally-keeper Lana Benedict, we served 1,483 meals on Thanksgiving Day. We delivered 880 meals to homes, apartments, and motel rooms, served 500 meals in our dining hall, and provided 103 take-home meals. I believe that is a church record and about double the tally two years ago.
Other local churches, agencies, and at least one restaurant also provided free meals at their locations. Together we worked to assure that no one in Springfield went hungry on this great American holiday. Thank you!
No one is seeking thanks but everyone desires thanks for this extraordinary effort. This year our â€œglobalâ€ coordinators were Lana Benedict, Rita Black, Phil Palsen, and Emily Sabo. We were struck by their innovative and carefully thought-out plans. Of course they were surrounded and supported by a literal host of volunteers and staff. Special thanks to Tricia Allen and Lin Glomski, the Blair family, and Robin and Bill Davis for all of their advance work.
People made financial gifts, planned, ordered, purchased, delivered, publicized, prepared, set up, cooked, sliced, dipped, set, served, swept, poured, carried, played, sang, welcomed, coordinated, smiled, assisted, boxed, navigated, drove, delivered, secured, washed, dried and put away dishes, encouraged others, and prayed. On and on they labored. All with smiles. What a beautiful day!
We were especially blessed this year with an extraordinary number of volunteers from outside of Centralâ€™s membership. This is in keeping with our desire to be an open family of faith working hand in hand with the community. We are thankful to God for each person who helped.
We were also blessed to be able to provide outerwear to so many in advance of the cold weather season. A special thank you goes out to all who gave coats, hats, scarves, and gloves. We are thankful for Emily Sabo who challenged us to raise the bar from last yearâ€™s hat and scarf giveaway.
To live every day as selflessly as so many of you lived yesterday, would bring only honor and glory to the One worthy of all praise, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I leave you with words from His teaching parable in Matthew 25:
37 â€œThen the righteous will answer him, â€˜Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?â€™
40 â€œThe King will reply, â€˜I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.â€™