Green Hill Good News Online* Edition for November 2018
*Check your e-mail and/or a printed copy for the complete newsletter.
The Thanksgiving we celebrate today is a combination of two very different New England traditions: the purely religious day of thankful prayer and the harvest feast. The harvest feast is still with us and so, in subtler ways, is the religious spirit.
The Sabbath, days of fasting and days of thanksgiving were the only religious holy days celebrated by the Pilgrims. A religious day of thanksgiving would be called only after the community had benefited from a single significant act of Divine Providence. The event we know as the “First Thanksgiving” was a secular harvest feast and not, as far as we know, an official religious day of thanksgiving. (NOTE: This does NOT mean that the Pilgrims did not give thanks to God; the Pilgrims were a deeply religious people and every activity in which they engaged was influenced by their deep reverence for Scripture.)
As a deeply religious people, the Pilgrims undoubtedly prayed at the 1621 harvest feast. Their prayers were spontaneous, however, and the exact words not known. A typical prayer might be:
O Lord our God and heavenly Father, which of Thy unspeakable mercy towards us, hast provided meat and drink for the nourishment of our weak bodies. Grant us peace to use them reverently, as from Thy hands, with thankful hearts: let Thy blessing rest upon these Thy good creatures, to our comfort and sustentation: and grant we humbly beseech Thee, good Lord, that as we do hunger and thirst for this food of our bodies, so our souls may earnestly long after the food of eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, Amen.
George Webb, “Short direction for the daily exercise of the Christian,” London 1625. Courtesy of Plimoth Plantation
A POEM BY WILLIAM BRADFORD
From my years young in days of youth,
God did make known to me his truth,
And called me from my native place,
For to enjoy the means of grace.
In wilderness he did me guide,
And in strange lands for me provide.
In fears and wants, through weal and woe,
A pilgrim, passed I to and fro.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS ENDS
Don’t forget to change your clocks before you go to bed on Saturday night. On Sunday morning, at 2:00am, Daylight Savings Time ends, and we all get back that extra hour we gave up in the Spring. We look forward to seeing you at church on Sunday.
Reservation slips for this year’s Thanksgiving Dinner are in the pew racks in the Sanctuary. If you plan to attend, please fill one out so the kitchen crew knows how much food to prepare. You can drop it in the offering plate or in the basket on the office door.
The church’s annual Stewardship Sunday is fast approaching. At this time, we ask each member, each family, and all our regular worshipers, to prayerfully examine their resources and to pledge a portion to God’s work. Soon everyone will receive a pledge card in the mail. On Stewardship Sunday, November 18, a special collection of the pledge cards will be held during the morning service. The cards may also be returned by mail to the church office. These pledges help the church plan our budget for the coming year
GREENING OF THE CHURCH
Everyone who is able to make it is invited to participate in the annual “Greening of the Church,” also known as the “Hanging of the Greens.” This will include putting up the tree in the Sanctuary, setting up the Advent candles, hanging the wreaths, and more. Please join us in this annual tradition of preparing the church building for the Advent and Christmas Season. The “greening” will occur during the last week of November. The exact date and time will be announced in the Sunday bulletin.