Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
If I think back as far as I am able, one of the first Thanksgiving days I remember happened in my Grandma Davison’s kitchen. I was about seven or eight years old at the time. Our small family of ten or twelve was gathered in Grandma’s four room apartment in Brooklyn for the traditional annual feast. Grandma was bent over her open oven door, attempting to remove her huge, beautifully roasted turkey. Her potholder slipped from her hand, with the slick roasting pan then sliding from the oven rack down to the open oven door, then onto the kitchen linoleum floor, splashing turkey drippings all along the way! And after it went Grandma in hot pursuit—chasing her runaway turkey across the kitchen floor and into the adjoining dining room! If we only had I-pads back then!
Another memorable “first” Thanksgiving for me came years later after marriage and three children, when Sylvia and our young family of five visited her MawMaw and PawPaw Nelson in Abingdon, Virginia. MawMaw would cook and bake for days, with every conceivable (no exaggeration) Thanksgiving dish on the table when we all sat down to eat. Fresh vegetables from her own acre-size garden, a beef roast from the black Angus steer grown on Uncle Lee’s farm in nearby Meadowview, a Virginia ham from one of Uncle Lee’s pigs, and of course one of the biggest Tom turkeys I had ever seen in my life! Homemade pies and cakes of every variety and description graced yet another table. The dining room table was extended into the living room, with enough space to accommodate the thirty people—both relatives and friends—who were always welcomed at her dinner table! Everyone’s Thanksgiving, I thought, should be like this!
Many years have now passed, with these wonderful memories still as vivid in my heart, mind and soul as the day they each of them happened. We are told that we worship a God who “…makes all things new!” New times and events bring rich new memories to remember and cherish. It’s now time to make new memories, experiencing yet another “First Thanksgiving” as I continue my first year as Pastor here at Boiling Springs United Methodist Church. Together, we shall re-shape and re-define what ministry truly is! Together, we shall rise to new heights in our mission and service to all of God’s children! Together we shall deepen our faith as we laugh and cry, succeed, stumble and celebrate as a people of like mind and Spirit— that God has brought us together for one purpose: “To make disciples in Christ Jesus for the transformation of the world.”
God has blessed Sylvia and me so richly, beyond description and imagination, and has helped us realize that “age” is only a word and just an attitude! It is my deepest hope and prayer that each of you, along with your families and friends, will be part of the most loving and blessed Thanksgiving! As the Advent-Christmas season comes fast upon us, along with the birth of the Holy Infant King, may there be a rebirth in your thinking and your perspective, in your commitment to Jesus Christ and your Church, and in your prayer life and love of all God’s children! “It takes teamwork to make the dream work! …And the dream is working!”
Together in Christ,
Pastor Ken (and Sylvia, too!)