Service aims to bring people to table

Published 10:06 pm Tuesday, November 12, 2019

A coalition of local churches will be “At the Table” for an upcoming Thanksgiving service, which will also collect an offering for the Coalition Against Poverty in Suffolk.

The service, sponsored by Suffolk Clergy United, will take place at 7 p.m. Nov. 19 at East End Baptist Church, 1056 Portsmouth Blvd. Bishop Clarence V. Russell III, the senior pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church, will deliver the message. Other pastors will also participate in the service.

Suffolk Clergy United is made up of about 15 local pastors from a variety of denominations and churches who get together to discuss the needs of the city and being a resource for it.

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“We believe in the importance of worship and saying thank you to God for all that is taking place in the midst of our lives and the blessings that we have,” said Matt Winters, pastor at Bethlehem Christian Church.

He said the last Thanksgiving service the group hosted was in 2015, though it has hosted a Lenten lunch service for about 15 years. The service is being held in the spirit of sharing, bridge-building and gratitude, he said, and it will feature a multicultural, multi-church community choir, singing, prayer and preaching.

“This Thanksgiving service, we wanted to offer a chance for the city to come together in a time of worship,” Winters said.

During the service, an offering will be taken for the CAPS program, with the goal of raising at least $2,000 for its winter shelter program. People can bring to the service cash or checks payable to CAPS.

Winters said there will also be a second offering, but of blessings, not money. People will have the opportunity to write down things they are thankful for and place it in a Jar of Blessings as a sacrament of worship.

“We’re going to have a vessel for folks to write down how they’re blessed by God,” Winters said.

Winters is hoping for a strong turnout for what he believes will be an uplifting service.

“We invite everybody from the community to be a part of the evening’s worship service,” Winters said. “Hopefully, that will set the table for Thanksgiving week and orient everyone’s attention toward Christ.”

Want to participate?

A multicultural, multi-church choir is being put together for the upcoming Thanksgiving service at East End Baptist Church. Anyone who wants to be a part of the choir is welcome to a rehearsal at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Paul Baptist Church at 806 Lincoln Ave.