Another Thanksgiving Week, With Pie
Tomorrow night I have the pleasure of preaching the message for the
Granville community Thanksgiving worship, at 7:00 pm Sunday night in
First Baptist Church.
Ecumenical Thanksgiving services are often the first, and for many
the only ecumenical activity people have participated in. In the
1950s they were (I'm told) vaguely exciting in their exoticism, a
worship service where multiple denominational traditions came
together and did something as one.
Today we have Habitat for Humanity, the Jail Ministry, and the
Coalition of Care to mention just a few. Churches and denominations
work together on a variety of fronts, a good thing indeed.
There's still a very important place for each of us to affirm our
uniquenesses, even when that might infer that other groups are, um,
wrong. Politely stated, our civil society has plenty of space in
which we can disagree and dispute our essentials and fundamentals,
while maintaining a civic common ground where work can be shared.
The largely uncommitted world (keep in mind close to 80% of Licking
Countians attend nowhere for corporate worship, or no more than once
a year, if that, so there's plenty in this category) is curious as to
why we Sunday-time or Saturday or Friday worshipers do what we do,
and place our values where we do.
Community and communal worship, let alone projects, show a watching
world where our priorities play out. Competition, as the business
world understands it, is not really what we're about. We're not here
to sell the same product at a better price or from a more convenient
location, we're here to tell you that what you want is pie, home
made, and not a pre-packaged snack cake.
The challenge in this market driven age is that a cheap and
convenient snack cake, or processed food item close at hand with a
quick buzz, may well "do better" in a dollars and sense sort of way
than a recipe for rolling out the dough and mixing up your own
pumpkin filling. We all use canned filling these days, even when we
make our own pie, and home made pie is getting harder to find.
Churches, even ones I don't always think are on the right set of
recipe cards, are trying to show people how to make pie. In one
sense, that's always going to be a hard sell. Making a pie is work,
buying a box o' Dingolingos not so much.
What goes beyond sales is the experience of happening onto a table in
a place where you get served a bite of home made pumpkin pie after
long weeks of plastic wrapped "treats." You eat a bite, and then
another, and have a second piece, and you realize you want more of
where that came from. And all that comes with it.
Community Thanksgiving services are a chance for many of us in a
variety of locations to serve up some pie. It might be mince, or
cherry, or pumpkin, and it could come with a side of vanilla ice
cream or whipped cream or even, God help us, a squirt from a can.
Whether it's served on good china, household plates, or disposable,
the heart of the matter is whether we're serving our communities from
the heart, out of who we are.
When we're serving from the heart, you can taste it. It might be the
nutmeg, I'm not sure.
Consider attending your local Thanksgiving service, and invite
someone to go with you. There's going to be pie enough to go 'round.
Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and supply preacher around
central Ohio; he likes pie. Making it, eating it, doesn't matter.
Send him your pie recipe at firstname.lastname@example.org.