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Please join us this evening

Tuesday, November 24

For “A Concert of Praise and Thanksgiving

 An Interfaith Thanksgiving Event”

At 7:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary

Of First Parish Church of York, Maine

“Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” Psalm 90:1-2

We know that the first year our forebears landed at Plymouth Rock proved devastating, the environment unforgiving, with much suffering and loss through the first harsh winter. Were it not for the hospitality and generosity of the Wampanoag Indians, the Pilgrims may have all perished.

The first Thanksgiving was actually a harvest festival that likely included games and sport, not a religious occasion which would have been a much more sober affair, and had been previously celebrated in Europe long before the first settlers arrived in this land.

The next year, the prospects of the surviving settlers significantly improved, with the successful planting of grain, and the abundance of wild game and seafood.

The only items we can be certain were on the table during that first Thanksgiving were venison and some type of wild fowl, as described by Edward Winslow in his 1621 Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth:

“Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.”

Wherever you choose to gather for common meals or expansive feasts in the days to come, treasure the provision given to you by the grace of God, and give thanks. Give thanks.

Prayer for Thanksgiving:

God of harvest, gardener supreme

you feed us, equip us and having provided for us

look to a different harvest

a fruitfulness of lives in service to you and others.

God of harvest,

feed us

prune us

harvest us

that our lives

might bring glory to you. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Verlee, Pastor Rachel and all our staff at First Parish Church wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving.