Top Ten Reasons to Attend the Community Thanksgiving Service

As I prepared for this evening’s Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service at the local Unitarian church, I began to reflect on why we hold these “liturgies.” It’s nice to gather, certainly, and I appreciate knowing all the local clergy. But at a completely different level, there are many good (well, 10) reasons to attend such services. Thus, I offer you my:

Top Ten Reasons to Attend the Community Thanksgiving Service

1. When else would you get to hold a bulletin emblazoned with cornucopia clip-art?

2. To prove the superior vestiture of Episcopalians (or, at what point does an abundance of polyester cassock-albs become a fire hazard?).

3. To get away from the in-laws for an hour while they dispute the ingredients of your late grandmother’s stuffing recipe.

4. To worship God in lowest common denominator form (along with several references to Mother Earth).

5. To pray that parishioners from other churches will see the light and join your congregation.

6. To enjoy seeing the area clergy being paraded around in front of the congregation like a police line-up (“Hey, you, number two Methodist; stand next to that Presbyterian and sing ‘Eagles’ Wings'”).

7. To take bets on how many times the hosting cleric will say the word “welcome.”

8. To witness hearing all the participating clergy being given a line or two (in the name of inclusion) so it feels a third grade play.

9. Since the rest of your family refuses to go it makes for a contemplative time.

10. To enjoy the post-service store-bought brownies and punch reception (a result of several unnamed Protestant denominations for whom wine is anathema).

I look forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with The Great Thanksgiving tomorrow at 9:00 am. It will be most welcome.

And, finally, I bid everyone a blessed Thanksgiving (regardless of denomination!).


9 Comments on “Top Ten Reasons to Attend the Community Thanksgiving Service”

  1. Sarah says:

    Not for nothing, but it’s the ONE holiday that we clergy don’t HAVE to work – so I don’t. HA!

  2. campusmissioner says:

    This was SO welcome as we discussed our community service in Southern Maine.

    Thanks for the chuckle!

    Rev. Shirley Bowen

    Rector, Christ Episcopal Church, Biddeford

    Executive Director, Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center

    Campus Missioner, Episcopal Diocese of Maine

    Staff Chaplain, York County Emergency Management

    207-205-4155

    shirleybowen@maine.rr.com

    If we could read the secret history of our enemies,

    we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering

    enough to disarm all hostility. — Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

    “These are the times in which genius would wish to live.

    It is not in the still calm of life that great characters are formed.

    The habits of a vigorous mind are formed contending with difficulties.”

    — Abigail Adams

  3. Father Tim says:

    Uh, Sarah, of course it’s a work day — it’s on the Church Calendar.

  4. Wow! I feel a rebuttal coming on – I love getting together with my colleagues for the one holiday we all celebrate. (I always wear cassock, surplice and tippet to ours. Just sayin’.)

  5. Carol Plummer says:

    A Tad snarky, blessed day to you anyway. Poly vestments are too hot anyway. When I became an Episcopalian (born loving smells and bells), my mother said, “…but dear, our family left England in the 1600’s to escape the Anglicans and be free to worship in their way without being persecuted.” (I come from a line of liberal heretics: Baptists, Heugenots, Cathars, Puritans/Calvinists, Masons!). Amazing how the wheel turns! So I find the same freedom in the church my ancestors had to leave. Of course, I’m a Buddhist, Hindu, Sufi, Pagan, Jungian, High Church Episcopalian. Go figure!

    Love the snark, keep up the shadow-work!

  6. Carol Plummer says:

    P.S.: Join us at 10 a.m., Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Portland, ME, tomorrow. Hoping for the Great Thanksgiving! Will be in our hearts if not in the liturgy. Blessed be!

  7. Nina(Lanina123) says:

    Maybe so you could hear your curate give a kick-ass sermon?
    Happy Thanksgiving, Tim.

  8. Blessed be, indeed! Remember to say a prayer for those of us who have to go to some other work . . . who would rather be in church!

  9. Father Tim says:

    Yep, Anne did us proud as last night’s preacher. No surprise there.


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