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Thanksgiving is one of those special holidays because of its Christian roots. I wasn't quite sure what to write about regarding it because there is so much that could be talked about. I could've started with Gov. Bradford and his declaration of a day of thanksgiving to God for the bountifulness of the summer crops of 1621 as the pilgrims suffered through their first winter and now had plenty for their second. Chief Massasoit was a remarkable example of God's providential care for His Pilgrims as they sought a country where they could freely worship the Lord Jesus Christ. The Mayflower Compact is a document worth your reading to see the rich Christian heritage we have.
Then I thought about the Proclamation by the President of the United States, George Washington, which started out with, "Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of our Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor - and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer....."
Then there was Abraham Lincoln who officially declared a national day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God for all His blessings and it be observed the last Thursday of November.
But I think I'll just quote Psalm 100 and trust the Holy Spirit to impress upon you a spirit of true thanksgiving to God and that you'll not let "Thanksgiving" be just another name for a holiday that hasn't much meaning other than a family get together around a turkey and a day off of work.
"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing.
Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations."
On Sunday, November 24, the churches of New Milford, PA will join at an ecumenical Thanksgiving service, 7:00 p.m. at St. Johns Roman Catholic Church, Main St. Participating in the service will be First Baptist Church, St. Johns R.C. Church, St. Marks Episcopal Church, and the United Methodist Church. The Rev. Louis Kaminski, Pastor of St. Johns Church will be the host and officiant. The Rev. Canon Charles A. Cesaretti, supply priest at St. Marks church, will be the preacher.
Music for the service will be provided by the joint choirs of the New Milford churches under the direction of Kathy Holleran. Joining the choirs will be the Folk Choir of St. Lawrence, under the direction of Sharon OConnor, and the Hand Bell Choir, under the direction of Holly Snitzer. Traditional hymns and anthems are planned for the service.
Pictured is the Rev. Canon Charles A. Cesaretti, supply clergy at St. Marks, New Milford, who will preach at an ecumenical Thanksgiving service in New Milford.
The Rev. Canon Charles A. Cesaretti is a retired priest of the Episcopal Church and has been serving as supply priest at St. Marks during the sabbatical of the rector, the Rev. Canon Carol Horton. Cannon Cesaretti served congregations in New Jersey before becoming a member of the national staff of the Episcopal Church, which is headquartered in New York City. He was on the staff for 13 years serving as assistant to the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, which is a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. He was seconded to the staff of the Archbishop of Canterbury, working on peacemaking issues in Africa, Central America, and the Middle East. Following this assignment, Canon Cesaretti was assistant to the rector of Trinity Church, Wall St., New York city. He is the author of six books and numerous articles and reviews in professional journals. He retired to New Milford in early 2002.
Also participating in the service will be the Rev. Joyce Allen and the Rev. David Riley.
The offering at the service will benefit the Route 11 Corridor Ministry.
"O come all ye faithful and year after year the faithful came; sadly, longingly, to the dark, cold months of winter without a sign that God was about to fulfill the promise of the prophets. Year after year they tried to remain strong in their faith of deliverance, waiting, waiting for the peace, worshipping God in freedom and joy."
"O come all ye faithful" is the lead carol in a musical to be performed at Thompson United Methodist Church on December 1. The musical, entitled, "Touched by a Child, Touched by a King," is written by John Purifoy. The text is written by Geoff and Neil Lorenz.
Impresario Brenda Potter will pick up her conductors baton at precisely 3:00 p.m. Linda Chesnick will glide her fingers across the keyboard and the audience will be treated to a four-part harmony which is unparalleled anywhere at that time and that date.
The angels have been practicing and they are on pitch. The choir is comprised of individuals from many denominations. Its worth attending just to see the aura around their heads. The music is outstanding.
After singing "O Come All Ye Faithful," the choir will sing, "Touched by a Child, Touched by a King," followed by "Rejoice, Rejoice, All People," "Run Shepherds, Run," "I Was Touched, and I Believe," "The Truth and the Light," "Light of the World," and "Angels Song."
Narrators are Pastor John F. Grove, of the Starrucca and Herrick Center Baptist Churches and Pastor Brian Lucas, of the Thompson United Methodist Charge.
How fast the year went by. Its hard to grasp that Christmas is upon us. Wouldnt it be a wonderful way to start the "Season of Giving" by receiving this most precious gift? It sort of puts everything into perspective. For those of you who attend the Cantata each year, the seats are warmed and theres always room for a friend. For those of you who believe you have lost contact with the "real" spirit of Christmas, there will be plenty of warm seats and more importantly, warm hearts for you. The Cantata is free and brought to you by people who love to do it.
A special service of thanksgiving and praise has been scheduled for Wednesday, November 27, 7 p.m. at the Thompson Baptist Church, Jackson St., Thompson. Organist and choir master Phillip Shade from Souderton, PA will be playing a special selection of music prepared for the occasion. Elizabeth Shade Brenner will be featured soloist for the evening. There will also be testimonies from two young people from Vienna, Austria who are students at Columbia International University in South Carolina. The public is invited to attend and join in this special evening as we remember with Thanksgiving the many blessings bestowed upon us, as well as our country.
During the Christmas season, the pace of life seems to speed up. All ladies are welcome to come to the Ladies Christmas Tea for a time of "Abiding Peace" on Tuesday afternoon, December 3, at Montrose Bible Conference Dreyer Lodge, 5 Locust St., Montrose.
A program of Christmas music, drama, and devotional message by Patti Souder is planned for 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. and baby sitting is available. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations may be made by contacting (570)278-1001 or (800)598-5030.
Thompson Baptist Church will be hosting a Ladies Candlelight Christmas Tea on December 7, 6:00 p.m. All ladies and teens are invited to join for an evening of joyful music by Simple Blessings Music Ministry and a time of storytelling by a special gem, Ruby Shade. Mrs. Shade, also known to some as "Aunt Ruby," was featured nationally on Christian radio for over twenty years. Rubys stories continue to weave magic, captivating the attention of young and old alike. Mrs. Shade currently ministers, worldwide in conferences with her husband, Dr. Bill Shade. She continues to have a busy ministry schedule, along with serving as Adjunct Faculty for Bharat Bible College, India, teaching courses on Womens Ministry, Christian Ed, and Psychology of Teaching Children.
Simple Blessings music ministry will surely bless your heart and make you wish there was time for more. They are a team of young adults and their leader who have ministered over the past few years at various churches and events. This group began singing together during high school days and continue to sing praises to the Lord as college students. Most have been active in Word of Life and high school competitions and now continue to be involved in college chorus.
Plan on attending this special warmhearted evening when "All Hearts Come Home at Christmas." If you would like further information call 727-2461.
The Rt. Rev. Paul Marshall, Episcopal Bishop of Bethlehem, honored the Rev. Carol Horton, rector of Susquehanna County Episcopal Ministries, which includes St. Marks Church, New Milford and Christ Church, Susquehanna at the annual convention of the diocese held recently in Reading. Bishop Marshall invested Mother Horton as Canon for Liturgy and Music. The honor allows her to be addressed as the Rev. Canon Carol Horton.
Canon Horton serves as co-chair of the diocesan commission on liturgy and music. Canon in the Episcopal Church, a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, is an honorary designation, comparable to that of "monsignor" in the Roman Catholic Church. The honor is bestowed upon clergy and lay people in recognition of their contributions to the life and ministry of the diocese, the cathedral, or the ministry of the bishop. Her new position allows Canon Horton to wear purple vestments as a sign of her honorary diocesan position.
Canon Horton is a graduate of Westminster Choir College, Princeton, NJ; the Theological School at Drew University, Madison, NJ; and, holds a diploma in Anglican Studies from the General Theological Seminary, New York City.
Before her ordination, she taught junior high and elementary school music for 17 years, and served churches in New Jersey. As a singer, she has performed throughout New Jersey and the British Isles. She is married to Dr. Roy Horton, Music Director at Delbarton School, and Abbey Organist at St. Marys Abbey, Morristown, NJ.
She has been rector of Christ Church, Susquehanna, and St. Marks, New Milford, since 1995. The two parishes comprise the Susquehanna County Episcopal Ministries. Canon Horton is also active with the ecumenical work of the churches in New Milford and Susquehanna area through Tri-Boro Ministerium, Route 11 Corridor Ministry, and the New Milford Clergy.
Susquehanna County Episcopal Ministries is a part of the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem. The diocese includes some 17,000 communicants in 68 congregations in a 14-county area of northeast Pennsylvania. The diocesan community has been actively involved in the development of ministries with children and youth, with the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed, and in enabling lay people to claim the call to ministry that is theirs by reason of their baptism.
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