Holiday worship service seeks to create unity
by Keith Beebe
Sugar Groveâ€”Mention the upcoming holiday season to anyone and you’ll likely hear a few groans. After all, the holidays have come to represent long department store lines, ruthless â€œBlack Fridayâ€ crowds and credit cards practically smoldering from overuse.
However, hidden amongst all the rat race activity is the fact that the holidays are meant to celebrate life, family, friends and goodwill. The Sugar Grove Methodist Church understands this true meaning of the holiday season and will proudly put it on display during the Kaneland Area Thanksgiving Eve Worship on Wednesday, Nov. 24, at 7 p.m. at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church.
The public is invited and encouraged to attend this ecumenical service, which will include at least six congregations from Elburn, Sugar Grove, Maple Park and Kaneville.
People from all congregations are welcome to attend the service, and are invited even if they do not belong to any congregation.
â€œThese are people who are sometimes neighbors and know each other but go to different churches on Sundays,â€ said Steve Good, pastor at the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church. â€œSo this is one of those rare opportunities where they can all worship with each other. We live in the same communities, and it’s wonderful to actually come together in the same place of worship, sing the songs together and hear the scriptures together.â€
Good said the Thanksgiving worship service is held at a different location each year, which means the head pastor of the hosting church must organize and publicize the service. Good assigned various scripture-reading assignments to several pastors in the area, and also asked the pastor of Elburn’s Community Congregational Church to preach a sermon during the Thanksgiving eve worship
â€œMy job is to sort of set up the service and welcome everyone to come in and worship with us and with each other,â€ Good said. â€œIt’s a rare opportunity for everyone to pray together, and there’s a sense of unity that we all have something to be thankful for as we consider the ways God has blessed us in the past year. It’s a great feeling.â€
Good said the Thanksgiving eve offering will be shared with the Between Friends Food Pantry in Sugar Grove and the Elburn Food Pantry.
â€œWe want to let them benefit from the offering and help our neighbors, who might need a little extra help making ends meet this year,â€ he said. â€œIt’s certainly a real need in our community, and I think people will feel good about helping both of those food pantries.â€
People can also bring a nonperishable food item to the Thanksgiving eve service for donation to the food pantries.