This is Thanksgiving week. I’ve already stated my feelings about how I feel about sharing this special holiday, so I won’t mention much more about it. Thanksgiving is the beginning of each year’s big holiday season. In my mind, the commercialism of Christmas has gotten way out of hand. I’ve seen Christmas decorations in one way or another since Halloween. It seems that the merchants are in some sort of a contest to see who can be the first to have their decorations or special sales out first. They should be ashamed of themselves, and we should be ashamed of ourselves for biting at their bait. There are already people camped out in front of some stores for “Black Friday” store hours.
The day after tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I suggested before that, if you have room at your Thanksgiving table, invite someone to join you. If, by chance, you have stumbled across some bad luck and have not been invited to join someone, and cannot afford the cost of a typical Thanksgiving dinner, you still have options. Of course, I’m assuming that you have purchased a copy of this paper and have the opportunity to read this column. Perhaps you are fortunate to have someone who is a subscriber, and they are letting you know, second hand, about these options. Nevertheless, here they are:
Trinity Episcopal Church, 321 North Main Street, Three Rivers, will host their 19th Annual Free Thanksgiving Eve Dinner tomorrow, November 24, from 4 until 6 P.M. The menu will consist of turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, dressing, corn, pickled beets, cranberry relish, rolls, and pie. Thanks go to all the volunteers from several area churches, who gave of their time to put this project on. The volunteers want you to know that this dinner is not just for the less fortunate. It is for anyone who wishes to enjoy a good meal and socialize with neighbors and friends. Need more information? Call the church at (269)273-3795.
Light and Life Wesleyan Church, 15765 Hoffman Road, Three Rivers, will host a free Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day from 11 A.M. until 2 P.M. The church is directly across from the UAW Union Hall on Hoffman Road, just west of US-131. If you need a ride, you may call Mary at (269)535-0246, but you must call her today, Tuesday, November 23, at the very latest. If you need more information, please call the church at 273-3228. Some of the groups who have made this dinner possible include Agape Church, Ambassador for Christ, New Jerusalem Church, and Walthers Farms.
One of my favorite mottos is “Volunteer. The world is run by those who show up”. There exists in Three Rivers a group of volunteers who need your help. Open Arms, the ecumenical, volunteer-run emergency homeless shelter that is housed at the First United Methodist Church in Three Rivers, needs volunteers to staff the shelter. The winter season is approaching fast, which means that the homeless will be seeking a warm place to sleep now more than ever before. Volunteers make it possible for those who find themselves in need to come in from the cold and have a hot meal and a warm, safe place to stay for the night. The shelter is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, from 7 P.M. to 7 A.M. Every night there are three shifts of four hours each, with a man and a woman covering each shift. This means that every weekend there is a need for 18 volunteers. All you really need to volunteer is a few hours of spare time and a caring heart. Please call Jon Ritter at (269)432-2701. He’ll be happy to fill you in on all the details.
I’ll close the column this week by wishing all of you a very blessed Thanksgiving. May you carry on this thankful feeling throughout every day of the year. We all have so much to be thankful for, and I’m afraid we all take our blessings for granted.
As you begin your holiday shopping next weekend, please be kind and considerate of one another and make sure you take with you some extra patience for your fellow shoppers. Don’t forget to thank those customer service people. Without them, you would not have the shopping experience.
Happy Thanksgiving and I’ll see you Out and About!
Submitted by Norm Stutesman