Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. Unlike other religious observances, like Yom Kippur and Easter, Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated only by Americans. On the other hand, gratitude is the very foundation of the Christian life. So, even though Christians will focus on being thankful this November 24, gratitude and dependence on God’s grace are our heartbeat every day. As always, this year at Cornerstone we will celebrate Thanksgiving through worship and giving.
On Wednesday, November 23, Thanksgiving eve, we are planning a worship night filled with songs and prayers. We will gather together around tables in the McGuill Ministry Center at 7:30pm for some light refreshments, and at 7:45pm the worship team will lead us in worship. This informal format is the perfect setting for the church family to give thanks to God for His many blessings and answered prayers during this past year. I know it will be a spiritually refreshing time for you and a time to pause and worship God before feasting with family or friends the next day.
It is a Cornerstone tradition to practice gratitude and generosity during this holiday season by collecting a Thanksgiving offering for an outside ministry. This year this designated offering will go to assist those recovering from the most recent hurricane in Haiti. The need in Haiti is urgent. In the best of circumstances, the Haitian people live at or below the poverty line. With the collapsed buildings, lack of drinking water and poor sanitation, it has become even worse. We have chosen to partner with Operation Mobilization (OM), an organization that has been in Haiti for many years. OM has been working with a local church in Merceron to build a church, start a school and establish a chicken coops business for teachers’ salaries. All the work has been done by local workers and short-term missions teams and overseen by the local church leaders. OM needs temporary repairs to the church and school as well as the construction of twenty new homes.
Your Thanksgiving gift is considered a ‘thank offering’ because it is a way of blessing others from a heart of gratitude and done above and beyond your normal giving. I pray that God will fill you with his Spirit as you give him thanks, both personally and collectively with the church body.