New Life in Christ Church Thanksgiving Day Minstry
In 1982, Jackie Geoffrion (mother of Mary Jane Kittredge, wife of Pastor Doug Kittredge), responded to a calling to reach out to those in the community at Thanksgiving. On that day on Kenmore Avenue, meals were prepared and the volunteers anxiously awaited the arrival of those in need. After what seemed like an impossibly long wait, one man was eventually convinced to come in and enjoy the feast.
With so much food prepared, a new approach was necessary. Some meals were boxed up and sent to the dialysis unit in Hazel Hill where Mary Jane’s sister Pat Hall and another New Life in Christ Church member, Mary Lou Zook, worked. What a blessing! This still left an abundance of food, however. It was decided that the volunteers would go door to door in the neighborhoods and offer meals to any in need. Many were served in that first Thanksgiving Day Ministry and their stories are still remembered today. Nearly 4 decades later, this ministry continues to seek people out to share a Thanksgiving meal and to invite all who are seeking a church home to come and worship with us each Sunday.
Over the years, the New Life in Christ Church Thanksgiving Day Ministry has grown. Last year, over 500 meals were prepared and delivered from the New Life in Christ Church kitchen. Many of these meals find their way to the tables of our neighbors in local assisted living facilities. Many more find their way to the tables of our neighbors in the community.
Today, as we prepare for another Thanksgiving Day Ministry event, we see that many things have changed over the years. The name of the One that gives us the most cause to be thankful remains the same. We hope that this ministry will be a blessing to you and your families.
The Thanksgiving Day Ministry requires dozens of volunteers who take time away from family and friends to contribute their time, talents, and resources to ensure that individuals and families throughout our community have a chance to enjoy the day. Last year 30 turkeys, 80 pies, and heaps of green beans, stuffing, cranberry, and rolls were prepared and over 500 meals were delivered into our community on Thanksgiving Day.
Preparation for the Thanksgiving Day Ministry shifts into high gear the first week of November each year. Activities include the following:
- soliciting the donation of food stuffs
- identification of volunteers to cook, serve, deliver, and clean up
- coordination of door to door (and nursing home to nursing home) community outreach campaign
New Life in Christ Thanksgiving Day Ministries
The New Life in Christ Church Thanksgiving Day Ministry began in the early 1980's. As is the case with all of New Life in Christ Church Ministries, our goal is to reach the community and share the gospel.
How you can help
Please email the Thanksgiving Day Ministry coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments, corrections, or requests to add additional information.
Our goal is to capture all necessary detail to ensure a repeatable, successful execution of this ministry. It is also very useful in understanding the expectations for committing to various roles within the the Thanksgiving Day Ministry.
Make a tax-deductible donation (Select General Fund and add 'Thanksgiving Day Ministry in memo)
Some additional information for volunteers
[1 Nov 2017] - It begins.
As the kitchen / Fireside room will be in use through Tuesday evening (20 November), the pre-event readiness activities will begin on Wednesday at 2:00PM unless otherwise coordinated. We are looking for Wednesday volunteers to assist with the following activities:
- Clean / make space in the refrigerators for turkeys / pies that are being delivered early
- Ensure that the cook tops and ovens are ready to go
- Configure the tables in the fireside room for the delivery line as well as the hospitality table
- Configure the tables in the kitchen for the delivery line
If you would like to stay for our post delivery dinner, please sign up so that we can get a count. Feel free to bring others along. Use the notes / comments to tell us how many will be in your party.
You want to volunteer and don't need any more info? Here is a shortcut to the planning page Volunteer Signup
Do you want to help us maximize our efficiency? If you are cooking a turkey, let it cool, pull the meat off (the skin too) and place it in zip lock bags (please separate the bags by dark meat and white meat). You can place your bags on the shelf in the designated refrigerator in the church kitchen as early as Wednesday afternoon. Also, any drippings that you have can be placed in a suitable disposable container and place it in the refrigerator with your bagged birds. (If not disposable, please label it so we can get it back to you). Put your name on the bags and bring them to the church either the day before or the morning of Thanksgiving. The kitchen will transform your dripping into a tasty gravy for you!
A Time of Fellowship
I would like to challenge each of you to participate in this year's Thanksgiving Day Ministry in some capacity. If you have cooked more turkeys than you can count, consider partnering with someone who has never prepared a turkey (or just someone in the church that you would like to get to know better). Your expert knowledge and years of experience and their inexperience and excitement can help to make the overwhelmingly daunting task of preparing 'the first turkey' a memorable experience for both.
If you are interested in teaming up with another individual / family, please let the coordinator know (email@example.com).
The purpose of this section is to give future Coordinators and Apprentices a general sense of the time frames for the discreet steps involved in this ministry.
Planning and Preparation
Readying this page and the sign up can be done at any point in time after the conclusion of the previous years ministry event. This should include a clearing of the information from the Announcements section that is specific to a given year and a clearing of the numbers from the tables throughout this wiki that contain information that varies from year to year. It should also include the populating of the various elements that make up the volunteer sign up.
Note: perfectpotluck.com has been used the last couple of years, but that should not be a reason to continue to use it. If better technologies are discovered, they should be considered.
In mid to late October, the Coordinator must be identified and confirmed by the diaconate. That person should familiarize himself / herself with this wiki. Should there be questions or concerns, please reach out to the Thanksgiving Day Ministry Alumni.
The Coordinator should identify an apprentice early in the process and then begin recruiting the area coordinators. Identifying the Supply Coordinator should be done early in the process (no later than 1 November) as it is essential to populate the supplies table with an accurate depiction of what is needed to fulfill the ministry objective.
In early November, the Coordinator and Apprentice will meet with the Supply Coordinator and Apprentice to determine what supplies are already on site and what supplies are needed. The Coordinator and Apprentice will reach out to various suppliers for canned and dry items as well as identifying a provider or the 1100+ dinner rolls.
The Coordinator and Apprentice will also meet with the Thanksgiving Boxes Ministry Lead to ensure that the two ministries are working in concert.
The wiki is reviewed and updated with current information as well as documenting any changes in the ministry. In conjunction with this, an online sign up service is identified and populated with the relevant volunteer requests.
Beginning no sooner the Tuesday evening (the Covenant School is residence until this time), a final kitchen check is done. The Coordinator, Coordinator Apprentice, Chief of Kitchen Operations, and his/her Apprentice, will run through a check list (yet to be written) to ensure that the kitchen is all ready to go (pots, pans, freezers, refrigerators, etc) and that the canned and dry foods have been staged properly in the Red Room.
Wednesday evening, the dinner rolls can be bagged and the pies can be cut. Boxing the pies can be done up until the point that we run out of space in the refrigerators.
Tuesday or Wednesday, the tracts should be taped to the meal boxes.
Tuesday or Wednesday, the delivery boxes can be formed. This year we are fortunate to have boxes that do not require tape.
Mark the bread trays (which are useful for larger deliveries) with tags. As these trays leave the church for delivery, a note will be made as to who has accepted responsibility for returning the tray to the church.