October 7 – On this Harvest Sunday, we are having a special offering of non-perishable food items for the local Food Bank. The donations will be part of the Thanksgiving display at the front of the sanctuary. This action reminds us that one good way of giving thanks to God for providing the food we need is to share it with those who don’t have enough. Many thanks to everyone who has made a donation.
This Week in First Church:
– Tuesday, 7 p.m. Bible Study at Gwen Henwood’s home.
– Wednesday, 6:30 p.m. – Finance & Maintenance Committee meeting
– Saturday, 9:00 a.m. – Men’s Breakfast
– Wednesday, 17 October – Meal-in-a-Bowl Supper
– Sunday, 21 October – Endowment Fund Sunday
The Christian Year – Although Thanksgiving Day (which dates back to colonial times) is a well-established festival here in North America, it is a relative “newcomer” to the Christian Year (which gradually took shape centuries earlier, during the Middle Ages). In the Christian Year, Thanksgiving Day is somewhat of a secondary festival, since it has to do with something other than an event in the life of Jesus, or in the history of the church. Nevertheless, it is an important festival, since it affirms that God, as Creator, provides the food we need. On Thanksgiving Day, we give God thanks and praise for the harvest, through which he replenishes our supply of food each year.
In Canada, Thanksgiving Day has been an official holiday since 1879, but has been observed on the second Monday of October only since 1957. In the United States, Thanksgiving falls on the fourth Thursday of November. The Sunday of the Thanksgiving weekend, previously called “Thanksgiving Sunday” in our church, was quietly renamed Harvest Sunday by our national church a few years ago, presumably to emphasize the fact that it’s specifically the harvest that is the focus of the celebration.