AC3 recently hosted a Friendsgiving celebration. There was lots of food, fun, and chatter shared by all. I loved it! And who wouldn’t? It was so heartwarming to see AC3ers gather with friends and family they had invited outside of our Sunday morning services. They thought of those that may have needed a laugh, a smile, or a short break from the busy lives they live. After all, isn’t that what Friendsgiving is really all about?
Friendsgiving is just one of several AC3 community events planned this year. Our Outreach Team did a fabulous job planning and decorating. Hats off and a round of applause for an outstanding hosting job! It has been one of AC3’s favorite community events so far. Our next community outreach event is a Blood Drive. Other events will be posted here as they are added to our calendar.
I wanted to create a short blog post with a few Friendsgiving photos but I wasn’t sure if I would have the time and brain cells to do so. Luckily, a few days later, I had the answer. Yes! I could do so with a little help from a friend, Kinder Smoots. Kinder is the director of Eagle Wings, our local disAbility ministry. She had just mailed out their November newsletter with a Friendsgiving article in it. It had all the words I was looking for and more. So I hope you enjoy her article followed by a few more AC3 Friendsgiving photos. Read on… (used by permission)
“It’s not really a new trend. The word dates back to about 2007 where it could be found being used on the internet…but more and more lately, it has become a big tradition among many. People (with and without family) call together a group of friends, and they gather for what would typically be a traditional Thanksgiving potluck. There are many different styles and I even found a strict article citing the 10 Commandments for Friendsgiving! Wow! Sometimes people take things really seriously!
The thing that I love most about a Friendsgiving, is the opportunity it gives to people who may not have family around, and want to experience the tradition of a large holiday gathering. Many times—it goes without saying– that there are many individuals who are on the margins of being isolated and might be feeling lonely…especially during the holidays. I would agree that you don’t have to be alone to feel lonely. Some married people (I know) are the loneliest people in the world. It isn’t that you don’t have family around. You don’t have to be homeless, or a person with special needs who lives in an adult family home, or someone whose family has passed on. Some of these individuals who live in adult family homes are treated like they’re a part of one big family and have their feasts and celebrations right there!
My heart goes out to those who are constantly surrounded by people, and still feel alone. They try to do more and more and cannot find fulfillment. They lack the skills to establish deep, meaningful relationships and are not really connected with anyone on an intimate level.
The reason that I mention this to you is that you may be surrounded by such individuals. If you are aware of them, quite possibly you would want to consider hosting such an event. A “Friendsgiving” to include others who are lonely, to provide an opportunity to grow closer in relationship with those who need you. This organization (Eagle Wings) was founded on such an idea:
Luke 14:12-14 Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, (the marginalized, the lonely) 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
I wish there were a way to host a Friendsgiving with each one of you. When I think of all the people I am most thankful for, I think of all of you out there…praying…reading about the work being done here…sending emails of encouragement or leaving voicemails of prayer. Currently, I have a huge stack of Eagle Wings envelopes containing gifts on my desk…of people I’d love to sit down and spend time with. I cannot thank each one of you enough.”
Thank you, Kinder Smoots
AC3 Friendsgiving Photos 2021
Going Deeper – Mark 12:30-31
- What keeps you from reaching out to those in need around you?
- What steps can you take to be more proactive in loving those in our community?