For some Native Americans, Thanksgiving is a time of mourning, for the meeting between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag began a series of events that led to many tribes being wiped out. But for one Native American pastor, the observance is not a source of historical mourning or regret, rather he celebrated the occasion since a youth growing up on a Virginia reservation.
Ernest Custalow, pastor at Grace Church of Fredericksburg, told The Christian Post that he recalled celebrating Thanksgiving as a child on the Mattiponi reservation. Part of this tradition involved providing a deer and a turkey to officially give to the governor of Virginia to pay their state taxes, a custom that remains to the modern day.
"The way we paid taxes was to kill a deer and turkey to give to the governor of Virginia. We still do that," said Custalow, adding that, "I grew up hunting for the governor." more >>
It is Thanksgiving, one of the major holidays in the United States. Below are four points of interest regarding the development of the observance, on the last Thursday in November, and the practices therein.
Thanksgiving Used to Happen Any Time
The modern concept of Thanksgiving dates back centuries, deriving from religious traditions in Europe. more >>
Thanksgiving faces an unprecedented amount of competition. Early signs of this appear as Halloween and Christmas are simultaneously advertised in September, making Thanksgiving seem like merely a traditional transition into the holiday season.
In addition to all of the holiday anticipation, there are actually many things that happen on Thanksgiving Day that compete with its intended purpose of giving thanks. And it seems like some of these tendencies are indicators of things that we must battle against the rest of the year: discontentment, distraction, complaining, and carelessness.
In order to learn how we might "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18), below are four things we can do to focus on being thankful throughout the year, but especially on Thanksgiving. more >>
A September Lifeway Research survey reveals that nearly a quarter of Americans have received food from a church-run food pantry. Minorities and churchgoers commonly benefit from church pantries, according to the survey.
The Nashville-based Christian research firm polled 1,158 respondents about church food pantries and found that 22 percent said they have relied on a church program to feed their families. Of those who have received food from a church pantry, 26 percent were churchgoers. Over a third identified as evangelical.
More than one in three church pantry users (37 percent) were African Americans, 25 percent were Hispanic while 19 percent of the pantry users were Caucasian. more >>
The Christian Defense Coalition and Church on the Hill have announced that they'll be setting up a Thanksgiving place for American pastor Saeed Abedini in front of the White House on Thanksgiving morning, reminding President Barack Obama about the imprisoned husband and father.
"While Americans enjoy the blessings of spending Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, it is important to remember that millions around the world are being brutalized, persecuted and attacked for their Christian faith. Thousands are in prison," Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said in a statement.
"Pastor Saeed will not be able to spend this special day with his wife and two young children but instead will be spending it in a cramped prison facing constant violence and persecution," he continued. more >>
For the 135th year in a row, New York City's Bowery Mission will provide thousands of meals for city's homeless residents on Thanksgiving Day at their Bowery street location and other sites.
"More than 600 volunteers will prepare these meals and serve guests in the mission's century-old chapel, with music and festive decorations for the holiday," James Winans, chief development officer at the Bowery Mission, told The Christian Post.
"Meals will be served at 227 Bowery at 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. Additional meals will be added throughout the day, based on the demand," he said. "Each meal will be a traditional Thanksgiving meal, with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, green beans, gravy and all the fixings, and with pie for dessert." more >>