A rainbow of gratitude
Thanksgiving Day is a day which people on different continents celebrate not only at different times, but also in their very own way. Here is an overview of the beautiful manner in which people praise and honour God.
“¡Agradecemos juntos!” – We are grateful together
This was the motto of this year’s Thanksgiving Day service in the District Apostle Area of Enrique Minio. The motto was decided a few months ago already, a logo was designed, and various activities were planned. To prepare for Thanksgiving, for example, the children made posters with the motto and helped to lovingly decorate the altar. During the service, music was provided by youth and senior choirs and orchestras. After the service, the same closing song was sung in all the congregations of the six countries: “Juntos aquí, con el Señor” (Together with the Lord).
After the service, small giveaways with the motto were distributed. And because everything was so beautiful things will not end here: the congregations and districts will continue to celebrate their gratitude with various activities throughout the month of October.
What to say thank you for
District Apostle Mark Woll also celebrated the Thanksgiving Day service with his brothers and sisters on 2 October 2022. He wrote a letter to the members of his Regional Church giving them an opportunity to reflect on what all they can be thankful for. Looking at what God has in store for us in the future, He said that we have ample reason to give special thanks to God and listed seven points.
- 1. lead us into a perfect fellowship with Him
- 2. provide the resurrection body—absolutely perfect
- 3. permit us to serve side by side with Christ
- 4. make us perfect like Christ—His image and nature
- 5. reunite us with our loved ones
- 6. take away all sorrow, hurt, sin, and evil and provide perfect peace where love reigns
- 7. give us a perfect new creation.”
And then the District Apostle went on to explain why God loves His children: “God’s love was proved by the sending of His Son. Jesus Christ died for you and me showing us that He loves us and promises to share His merit and glory with us.” He concluded by reminding the brothers and sisters of the annual motto for 2022 “Together in Christ”.
District Apostle Peter Schulte from the Western Pacific did not miss the opportunity to send a very special greeting to his brothers and sisters for Thanksgiving. You can listen to his greeting as a podcast on the website of the District Church.
Surprise during the Thanksgiving preparations
In South Africa, District Apostle John Leslie Kriel visited the congregation of Beaconsfield on Thanksgiving Day. He arrived in the area a day earlier and dropped in on the congregations in the area together with Apostle Werner von Schaeffer. The members were all in the process of festively decorating the altar for the Thankgiving Day service. And the brothers and sisters were very happy that the District Apostle came by to see them personally. The divine service the following day was also a special highlight for the brothers and sisters in Beaconsfield.
Many other congregations in the District Apostle Area also celebrated Thanksgiving Day and lovingly decorated their altars for this special day. In many places, the annual motto or the word “thank you” was integrated into the altar decorations.
Non-perishable food for the food bank
Non-perishable food adorned the altar of the congregation of Erkenbrechtsweiler in Germany on Thanksgiving Sunday. The congregation had been asked to support and collect food for the Nürtingen food bank and many were only too happy to take part in the campaign. There was great joy at the Nürtingen food bank when they received large quantities of biscuits, cornflakes, coffee, and much more on 4 October.
Thanksgiving in the open air
The Zaragoza congregation in Spain decided to celebrate their Thanksgiving Day service outdoors on 18 September. The congregation had gathered for this at the Luis Buñuel Water Park. “The Lord has entrusted His creation to us in a wonderful way. Not only can we enjoy it, but we are also obliged to take care of it,” the rector said, among other things.
After the divine service, everyone stayed for a pot-luck lunch to which all had contributed little delicacies. Later there were games for young and old.
The altar decorations were sold
“We don’t just bring fruit and vegetables to the church as an offering,” explained Apostle Saa Marc Leno from Guinea. For the Thankgiving Day service he conducted, brothers and sisters brought fruit, vegetables, and cash to the church, as well as drinks, peanuts, and two pigs. After the service, all the altar decorations were taken outside, where everything was sold in front of the church so that at the end the thank-offering could be deposited in the bank.