The following report is from George Hart, pastor of Christ Community Church (CCC), one of GCI’s congregations in Cincinnati, OH.
For the third year in a row, CCC reached out to the community around our church hall the Sunday before Thanksgiving with Thanksgiving meals. The meals included all the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings and a gift certificate for a turkey at a local grocery store. The congregation donated enough food items and cash to put together 100 complete meals.
Our worship service that day focused on Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat.” To emphasize that giving and service are worship, we assembled the meals as part of our worship service. After a brief message we made application of Jesus’ teaching. Everyone got involved. The kids bagged candy for the meals, adults assembled the meals and those who were not able to stand offered prayers for the community. We then enjoyed a pizza lunch and delivered the meals to homes nearby.
The area around the hall where our church meets is one of the lowest-income communities in the county, with many school-age children. One lady started crying and said, “I didn’t know how I was going to provide a Thanksgiving meal.” One little child said, “Food! Now we can eat!” The impact was tremendous both on the community and on our members.