Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Thanksgiving at Otter Creek

Once again this year, I'm organizing the Otter Creek Thanksgiving service. I've done it the last two years (here's last year's talk), and it's been weird because the Thanksgiving service was always Buddy Arnold's thing and it's very strange to be stepping into his shoes in this manner.

Something that I really like about the service is that it's very old school. No MediaShout, no screens, one mic. That kind of thing. It's very nice to do that at times and remember the simpler roots of our tribe, the Church of Christ.

What I've tried to do over the last two years is really incorporate all the elements of OC's family into what I do (single, married, older married, senior, that kind of thing) and when I talk, I try to avoid the nationalistic fervor that can sometimes accompany a Thanksgiving service and really talk about the poor and our need to be servants to them and all of those on the outside margins.

However, sometimes I feel like I'm beating a drum over and over again. I really don't want to get to a point where people see me coming up to a mic and think, "Oh great. Now we have to hear about serving people again." Which maybe isn't all bad now that I think about it, but I also would like to keep the message of that as fresh as possible. I don't want to say the same thing all the time.

So here's where I need some help. I'm considering two things. 1) There was a guy that we worked with through the prison ministry that just got let out on parole. He's a guy that's really trying to put his life back together and I think that if there's anyone that could talk about thanksgiving in a fresh way, it would be someone like him. I was thinking about asking him to speak. 2) He may not want to speak or not be able to. If so, I'll probably do it again. How can I address the issue of concern for the poor without being annoyingly repetitive? I welcome your thoughts

btw, you are all welcome to the service. It's at 9am at Otter Creek's building on Thanksgiving morning.


Tony Arnold said...

I have always loved the OC Thanksgiving Morning. Every since Buddy passed away, I have wanted to be involved. If I can help, please ask me.

I personally don't think you can be too repetitive on the subject at hand. Jesus was fairly repetitive and we still get it wrong.

So do it, Phil. Our long-term memory needs prodding.

Brandon Scott said...

we'll be there! Lord willing.

brennan said...


Jesus was for the underdog. I wouldn't spend a lot of concern on making the overdogs uncomfy.

Phil said...

That's very true, Brennan. However, that's not really what people expect to hear when they come to the Thanksgiving service, which is why I try to couch it in terms that will give them ears to hear.

Sean Carter said...

Its thanksgiving and there is fun and frolic all over but in all these merrymaking let us not forget the real purpose of the occasion. Lets all kneel and thank God for all that He has showered on us and for this beautiful life that he has graced us with. On this note I'd ask you to visit my Thanksgiving Blog sometime and hare with us the spirit and joy of Thanksgiving!!!!

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