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November 27, 2009 - 5:44pm
posted by Ethan Thompson in batavia, City Church, thanksgiving.

For the past 10 years, the City Church in Batavia has hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the community. The first year, they teamed up with Miss Batavia Diner and "hosted" the dinner -- which means that they paid for everyone who came in for a turkey dinner from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For the following four years, they rented out the First Presbyterian Church's kitchen. For the past three years, they have been hosting the event at their facility.

The day before Thanksgiving is spent organizing food that has been donated from people and businesses in the community, decorating tables, and tying up all the final loose ends.

On Thanksgiving day, they start cooking meals early in the morning so they are prepared when the doors open at 11:00 a.m..

Transportation is provided by the church's bus ministry for those who need it. When people arrive they are met at the door by a “greeter” who welcomes them and gives them any information they might need. Then they are seated in one of the many tables set up in the back of the church. Volunteers go around the room asking people what they would like to eat or drink, while several people in the kitchen constantly cook food.

On average there are usually around 125 people who take part in the event and about 25 of those are usually deliveries.

“This dinner isn't just for the disadvantaged, it's for anyone who would like to have Thanksgiving dinner with other people, or maybe they don't have room for their family at home, so they come here and have dinner with us,” said Debbie Osborn, a City Church member.

If you spent Thanksgiving alone or were crowded in your home, next year remember that there is a place you can go to enjoy a happy, fun filled, peaceful Thanksgiving dinner with other people.

November 26, 2009 - 6:55pm
posted by daniel cherry in batavia, food, thanksgiving.

zzz11-26-2009  thanksgiving cherry picss 010.jpg

Happy thanksgiving from Dan and Boys.

November 25, 2009 - 5:42pm
posted by Daniel Crofts in batavia, church, religion, thanksgiving.

The turkey juices sizzle in the oven. The mashed potatoes are being stirred in the pot. Gooey, delicious sweet potato casseroles melt in the oven, while pumpkin pies baked and cooled, sit, tempting us toward an early desert.

Like any other holiday, Thanksgiving has a large store of such images attached to it. And, like other holidays, it is generally considered a time for us to reflect on the important things in life. As such, it is a time when families gather together in fellowship and in celebration of their blessings.

The social and emotional benefits of Thanksgiving -- or at least the possibility of these benefits -- are pretty clear. Its benefits to the palate (if not always the digestive system) are also well known. But what about spiritual benefits? What are the religious leaders in our area telling their congregations about the Thanksgiving holiday, and what it means to their lives? Moreover, how do they deliver a message that can be repeated each year and yet continue to be relevant?

The following comments come from four Batavia pastors, each reflecting on what they perceive to be the relevance of Thanksgiving to the Christian life:

Pastor Allen Werk, St. Paul Lutheran Church and School:

"Thanksgiving is far more than just a day for a family banquet. It is not about how much food we can prepare and eat.

"Thanksgiving is about expressing our gratitude to the source of all the things in life that we enjoy. It is a reminder to say thank you to the giver of all the wonderful gifts we so often take for granted.

"The Giver of all those good gifts in our lives, the Source of our blessings, is God our heavenly Father. Thanksgiving is a holiday that reminds us to thank our God for everything He does for us.

"'Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.'   James 1:17 (NIV)

"While it is good to take time to thank God for food and jobs and family and health, we also need to remember that God’s greatest gift was sending His Son Jesus to pay for our sins. Without Jesus’ death on the cross, we would be entirely cut off from this mighty and holy God. That salvation that Jesus has won for us is a gift that we would never be able to manufacture for ourselves. That is at the top of our list of blessings for which to say 'thank you' to God.

"God’s blessings to us span 365 days a year. We shouldn’t limit our thanks to one day a year. Remember to thank God often, daily, for all His love and blessings He abundantly pours into our lives."

Pastor Donald A. Shirk, Grace Baptist Church:

"What we as a congregation do at Thanksgiving is on the Tuesday evening (last night) before it, we have a special "Count Your Blessings" service. This evening is dedicated to folks sharing personal testimonies on how God has been good to them throughout the year.

"For the believer in Christ, Thanksgiving is not simply an annual event but a way of life. Paul put it this way in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, 'In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus.' To help prompt, I use a PowerPoint slide with ideas that might help our church members in their sharing. Last night was an exceptional service with our people sharing for over an hour on the goodness of God in their lives."

Pastor Roula Alkhouri, First Presbyterian Church:

"Thanksgiving is a great opportunity for us to take the time to remember the bounty of God's Earth. Often times, we take it for granted that our climate is going to be okay and that we will have good conditions to grow food. So, this time is a time of reconnecting with and paying attention to God's creation. We are often negligent of other creatures in the world. We tend to focus on our individual needs for consumption. Thanksgiving is a great time to be mindful of our responsibility to care for the Earth. The gift of life is so precious, yet it is often taken for granted."

Pastor John Hatch, United Pentecostal Church:

"Usually we focus on what we all are thankful for in a special Thanksgiving Eve service through volunteer testimonies (under 5 minutes) by anyone in the congregation who desires to share and give thanks to God for various personal things they feel the Lord has done for them. This year we will also be focusing on Thanksgiving by celebrating communion to thank Jesus for all He has done for us by the price He paid on the cross for our sins; healing by the stripes on His back and the wonderful way He has forgiven us, saved us and worked in our lives."

November 25, 2009 - 9:26am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, thanksgiving, gratitude.


 Into the Woods

(Into the Woods)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. How are you today?
JOE: Fine. I was just thinking about Thanksgiving and my gratitude as a writer.
CALLIOPE: Please elaborate.
JOE: I recall a rather heated discussion not too long ago in an online discussion group for published writers.
JOE: An argument ensued about who should be considered an author as opposed to a writer. Some who had been published by traditional publishers held themselves above others who self publi9shed or didn't publish at all.
CALLIOPE: Sounds like the worst of the writing community.
JOE: I thought so. An exercise in hubris. I'm just glad to be writing no matter what others think of me.
CALLIOPE: Tell me more.
JOE: I started writing at a time when my psychology career was unraveling due to the growing influence and control of the health insurance industry. Writing gave me a sense of myself and my ability to express what I thought and felt without arguing or haggling with anyone.
CALLIOPE: Has it stayed that way for you?
JOE: Like any endeavor, it has its ups and downs. Publishing has had its frustrations and challenges. The writing itself has given me some of the best experiences of my life and introduced me to people I would never have met otherwise.
CALLIOPE: I take it your writing career has made you grateful.
JOE: Correct. I will give thanks for it tomorrow and every day after that. Happy Thanksgiving.



November 17, 2009 - 1:42pm
posted by Billie Owens in thanksgiving, College Village.

Residents in College Village have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday. Beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 24, the Resident Assistants (RA) and College Village staff at Genesee Community College will prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner for students in the Village Hall of College Village.

The meal is free to student residents and will include turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, and of course, pumpkin pie.

On average, 100 to 150 students attend the annual dinner. For many, this will be their only Thanksgiving celebration. And for international students, this may be the first time they've experienced the holiday or tasted the traditional fare. Resident Assistants spend most of the day preparing the meal, working around their classes, activities and other school functions. College Village staff is kept busy by running to and from apartments double checking on the cooking, especially the turkey.

"This year we have many new Resident Assistants who have never cooked for a Thanksgiving Dinner before," said Ellen Brokaw, assistant director of Residence Life at College Village. "There's going to be a lot of training involved, but the RA staff this year is fantastic and I'm sure this year will be a great success. The RA Thanksgiving dinner always ensures a very busy but fun day!"

Prior to the meal, Lauren Paisley, instructor of business and advisor for the International Student Organization, will give a presentation on the history and traditions associated with Thanksgiving. The International Student Organization assists Genesee's international students in making the transition into a new environment. The group promotes cultural awareness, while serving as a support network for the educational and social development of foreign students. The presentation will begin at 5 p.m. with the Thanksgiving meal immediately following.

This is the fifth year that College Village has provided a free Thanksgiving dinner to students.

For further information, please contact Ellen Brokaw at 343-0163 or by e-mail [email protected].

November 17, 2009 - 8:43am
posted by Joseph Langen in writing, thanksgiving, giving.


 Sharing a Meal

(Sharing a Meal)

JOE: Good morning Calliope.
CALLIOPE: Good morning Joe. What are you up to this morning?
JOE: Thinking about my column for Saturday.
CALLIOPE: Do you have a topic?
JOE: It's taking shape. I want to write something about Thanksgiving since this will be my last column before the turkey event.
CALLIOPE: What will you say?
JOE: I'm thinking of a theme of saying thanks by giving something of yourself.
CALLIOPE: Where did that idea come from?
JOE: I'm going today to discuss a new project I am considering about a free mental health center.
CALLIOPE: What do you mean free?
JOE: No fees. People with few or no resources can come for free counseling with mental health professionals who donate their time.
CALLIOPE: Sounds unique.
JOE: I think it is. I haven't heard of anything quite like this before. I am considering a book about them.
CALLIOPE: Let me know how it turns out.
JOE: You will be the first to know. Talk with you tomorrow.



November 17, 2008 - 10:57am
posted by Philip Anselmo in Announcements, veterans, VA Medical Center, Holidays, thanksgiving.

From the VA Medical Center:

Thanksgiving dinner will be served to homeless and other needy veterans and their families, Sunday, November 23, 2008 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Buffalo VA, 3495 Bailey Avenue. Judi Kaczmarek, Human Resources Specialist has organized the event for the last eight years. 

She has been gratified with the response received by both the staff and the veterans served from previous years.  The event occurs the Sunday before Thanksgiving Day in order to provide a hot meal to those in need.   Admission is by ticket only.  Homeless veterans and veterans in need can call 881-5855 to obtain a ticket and learn more about transportation.

About 150 veterans and their families will be treated to a turkey and ham dinner with all the trimmings that will be served by staff in the VA Food Court located in the hospital's lower level. Veteran Service Organizations and other community groups have made donations for the event.

Entertainment by children of staff and a magic show will highlight the festivities this year. VA health care and other veterans’ benefits information will be provided to veterans with the opportunity to enroll in VA health care at the event.

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