Community gathers for services

Published 12:03 am Wednesday, November 25, 2009

NATCHEZ — In the season of Thanksgiving, it is important to say “thank you” to God for daily blessings, the Rev. Birdon Mitchell said.

Mitchell delivered that message to the congregation at Tuesday night’s community Thanksgiving service at New Covenant Presbyterian Church in Natchez.

The Natchez Area Ministerial Alliance sponsors the service each year.

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Mitchell’s message to the audience was to be aware of and thankful for everyday happenings.

“So many times as individuals, we’ve gotten comfortable and think things are happening in our lives because we are so good or we have worked hard,” Mitchell said. “We fail to realize that everything we do, our steps are already ordained by God.

“Without him, we are nothing.”

The service is hosted by a different church each year and music and message is provided by different congregations from the Natchez area.

The Rev. Dennis Flach, pastor at New Covenant Presbyterian Church, said he and his church were thankful for the opportunity to gather with different congregations, from different denominations to worship together and give thanks.

“Tonight is a chance for us to set our personal interests aside and celebrate the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ,” he said.

The audience was blessed with songs of Thanksgiving and praise performed by the Zion Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church choir from Natchez.

A community offering was received and donated to the food pantry. The Rev. David O’Connor from St. Mary Basilica said the food pantry serves 469 families consisting of 943 individuals.

When the food pantry began approximately three years ago, O’Connor said the food purchased to stock the shelves cost 16 cents a pound. Now the food costs 30 cents a pound.

Mitchell said in his message that Christians are presented with reasons each day to be thankful.

He said, all too often, people fail to take the time to be thankful, but that God never fails to give blessings.

“We live in a world where common courtesy is a thing of the past,” Mitchell said. “The words ‘thank you’ are not used, even to God.”

Mitchell said Christians should not have to look for a reason to thank God. He said instead, Christians should be constantly looking for chances to say “thank you” to God.

Flach said just having the opportunity to gather as one group is reason to give thanks.

He said having the opportunity to unite churches and congregations is one he enjoys.

“We do believe in one God,” Flach said. “We are all heavily reliant on the power of God to change us.”

Mitchell said each morning he has a reason to say “thank you” to God, as do all Christians.

“When I got up this morning, I caught God blessing me,” Mitchell said. “The fact that I could stand on my own, I had to tell him ‘thank you’ for that.

“Some one laid down last night and didn’t get up this morning. I caught God blessing me this morning and I had to tell him ‘thank you.’”

Vidalia also gathered for a Thanksgiving service at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. The speaker as the Rev. Greg Fain, the pastor of Vidalia First Assembly of God.