Canastota Churches Join in Giving Thanks

On Sunday, Nov. 19, Canastota Christians from several area churches gathered at the United Church for the annual Thanksgiving Community Service.

“We have a lot to be thankful for as individuals and as a group, so it’s always great to come together in ecumenical fashion this time of year,” said host pastor Charlie Vollmer.

The service included traditional Thanksgiving hymns and a very non-traditional message from four different pastors and leaders, their four brief themes beginning with first letters spelling out G-I-V-E.
Autumn is a busy time for the Canastota Area Association of Churches. In October their combined effort raised over $3,000 in the annual CROP Walk to fight hunger globally and locally.

Twenty-five percent of that amount stays right in Canastota, helping fund the two area food pantries and the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen. The balance extends our local reach to dozens of international efforts to improve nutrition
and water supply around the world.

On Saturday, Nov. 11, a dozen men from area churches attended the Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conference, joining 700 other men in North Syracuse to focus on becoming better husbands and fathers. In addition to special workshop opportunities, everyone was thrilled by inspirational messages from the New York best-selling author Steve Mansfield and former Yankees and Mets great Darryl Strawberry, now a committed minister of the gospel.

The Community Thanksgiving Service concluded with blessing the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes packed in northern Madison County and gathered there before heading to North Carolina for distribution. Many of the needy children around the nation and the globe have never received a gift like that, and are sure to be blessed.

Local Coordinator Greg Wright was almost overcome to tell everyone present that the area had packed 1,120 boxes, easily surpassing last year’s admirable total of 919. After that announcement, the service dismissed to fellowship over some delicious early Christmas baking. Everyone present agreed there’s a lot to be thankful for this year.

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