The Buck Stops Here
One of my favorite things about Pike County is the annual free Community of Faith Thanksgiving dinner served at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Louisiana.
It’s impressive enough that the church gives its space to cook and serve 500 dinners for the needy, infirm and those who just want to come.
What makes it even more special is that the Louisiana Women’s Ecumenical Group and men from churches all over the area come together to pull it off. It is no easy feat and takes several days of work by more than 50 people.
The women do the cooking and put the delivery meals together. The men do the heavy lifting, legwork and deliveries to those who can’t make it to the church.
Everybody who comes or gets delivered dinners is greatly appreciative for the holiday meal. I know because they’ve told me so every year.
We live pretty well in this country, as these public Thanksgiving dinners and our own family turkey day meals can attest.
That was on the mind of the Rev. Paul Catterton, pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church and the Clarksville United Methodist Church during a recent Sunday sermon.
Pastor Catterton brought American Thanksgiving into perspective with these quotes:
“If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the six million who won’t make it through the week.
“If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
“If you can attend a church service without fear of persecution, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
“If you have food in the fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of the world.
“If you have money in the bank, money in your wallet and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy.”
On a personal Thanksgiving note, it was nice to enjoy the day with my immediate family at home.
We normally go to St. Louis for an extended Moller family reunion Thanksgiving dinner, but it looks like that annual get-together may not happen again. My aunt and uncle who hosted the dinner for years are now in their 90s and it has become too much for them to have 20 people show up for a huge feast.
My cousins’ homes aren’t large enough to hold us all, so I was afraid that a Moller tradition that started in the late 1930s would end.
But then I realized that my own two sons are the ones who will keep the Moller family name and Thanksgiving tradition going.
My Moller cousins were female, or the male cousins had all girls, so now the tradition and name rest with my boys.
Knowing my sons will continue both things made my Thanksgiving special.