By JUDY A. TOTTS
Since its beginning, Thanksgiving has been about sharing the bounty of the harvest. Several area churches will continue the tradition by opening their doors and their kitchens to the community.
The Rev. Brian Liechty, pastor of New Life Christian Fellowship in Medina, said their purpose is to do anything they can to communicate the Gospel and the love and message of Christ.
â€œWeâ€™re trying to reach all of our neighbors, especially those in need, with this community meal,â€ he said, explaining that church members will host the dinner the evening prior to Thanksgiving. â€œWeâ€™re called to love our neighbors.â€
Volunteers from the congregation will cook, bring food and serve guests. Liechty said Akron General Health and Wellness donated several turkeys for the meal, and the church is providing all the trimmings.
â€œWeâ€™re going to use a lot of Crock pots.â€
The church invites people to come between 5 and 7 p.m. Nov. 26.
Liechty said he hoped the dinner would allow them to better know how to minister to their neighbors.
â€œWe want to talk to people at the dinner, to talk about their needs, and then weâ€™ll see what the Lord does with these conversations,â€ said Liechty, who was called to pastor the church in January.
â€œThereâ€™s a lot of evaluation going on, a lot of discernment to see what God is calling us to do. Weâ€™re a small church, but we serve a big God. We hope this dinner will be a catalyst for other things.â€
The church already has a partnership with community schools through a backpack ministry, providing backpacks and school supplies for children when they start classes in the fall. It also hosts a womenâ€™s retreat day of worship and workshops every winter. The congregation also supports a â€œCompassion Childâ€ and several missionaries serving in the field.
â€œWe are trying to help missions be the lifeblood of the church.â€
Free Thanksgiving dinners
Churches offering free turkey dinners with all the trimmings are:
o St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 929 Pearl Road, Brunswick. â€” Church members will serve the meal from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 27 at Hilkert Hall at the church. To share the meal, participants must register by Nov. 24; call 330-225-3116.
o New Life Christian Fellowship, 580 N. State Road, Medina. â€” The community may drop in to share the meal any time between 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 26 at the church. For more information, call 330-723-4443.
Totts may be reached at 330-721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.