Gather with community, give thanks

Published 12:03 am Sunday, November 18, 2012

Once a year, every year the Natchez Area Ministerial Alliance has a service for the entire community.

That time of year has come, and it is my privilege to announce that it is time for the Natchez area Thanksgiving Community Service.

The service will be at noon Tuesday at Jefferson Street United Methodist Church at 511 Jefferson St. Everyone is invited, and that really does mean everyone. The doors are open to young and old, rich and poor, black and white; all are invited and welcome.

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As one can see by the time this service is being held, it is meant to be a lunch-hour gathering. The host church, Jefferson Street, will provide coffee, tea and water to drink; however, each person does need to bring his or her own lunch. All of you who can take your lunch hour, bring whatever you want for lunch with you, or if you are trying to lose weight, just skip the meal, and come on.

This service is an occasion at which people can come together and celebrate what they have in common. In the three years that I have lived in Natchez, I have become aware of some divisions within our community. I think they are getting smaller, but they are there.

In fact, the divisions only reflect the wider divisions within our country. The last election only emphasized how little some people want to and will cooperate with others. By gathering together in the same place, people can celebrate what they have in common.

They can greet their neighbor and recognize that he or she may be different, but that doesn’t make him or her less of a person.

That is a good start toward working together. We can celebrate that what we have in common in Christian faith is far greater than any of the differences we may have.

So come and celebrate with us. This service is not an enlistment drive for any church; it is a service in which we can celebrate the Christian faith which church goers in this city have in common.

Come and sing songs together, and come and hear Nance Hixon speak.

Nance is the relatively new minister at Grace United Methodist Church. He is well aware this service is during people’s lunch hour, so no one has to worry about him running over time.

In three good years in Natchez, I have become well aware of how much business gets done in this city as people sit down to lunch. So for one day, skip the business session.

Come and join with us as we celebrate Thanksgiving and our Christian faith.

Come knowing that what we will celebrate is far more important than any business deal with which you may be involved.

Come even if your church is not a part of the Natchez Area Ministerial Alliance.

Hope to see you there.


The Rev. Richard Wood is the pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church.