Congregational Church of Jefferson Park

Pastor’s Message

GayleTucker's photo

Pastor Gayle’s Reflections

November 2017

It may seem like the school year just started, especially since we had unseasonably warm temperatures well into the fall, but the major holiday season will be here soon. For many, this is a joyous time of celebration with family and friends. For others, this is a time of grief, previous hurt-renewed, and isolation. We, as a congregation, try to do our best to be a safe and welcoming place for all, with particular invitation to those for whom the holidays are difficult. This begins, in earnest, with Thanksgiving Sunday.

Sunday, November 19, will be observed as Thanksgiving Sunday. We will have our regular 11 AM worship service, followed by our annual community thanksgiving dinner. We have been hosting this full traditional dinner for many years, inviting not only members and close friends of our congregation, but also neighbors and members of the surrounding community. In short, everyone is invited. Please help us get an accurate count of those attending, so we can purchase the food. Contact Sharon Jaffray to let us know if you’re attending and if you would like to bring a side dish or dessert. We would also appreciate cash donations to cover the cost of the turkeys, stuffing, potatoes and vegetables, plus the cost of additional turkeys so we can make turkey sandwiches (instead of bologna or salami) for The Night Ministry this month. (We will assemble sandwiches after the meal.)

This year we also open our doors to members and friends of several other congregations, as we will host an Ecumenical Thanksgiving Worship Service, followed by a simple pie reception. If you would like to donate a pie, please contact Sharon Jaffray or Janis Gooday. The combined choirs of the congregations will meet to rehearse at 2:30PM. The worship service will begin at 3:30PM. This is a great opportunity to share our sacred space with friends and neighbors, as well as to join together in worship and fellowship. Plan to make a day of it!

We will collect non-perishable food items throughout the celebrations for food pantries in the area.
Help will be needed both before and after, and is greatly appreciated. If you would like to help out in any way, please contact me at the church office, preferably via email (, which makes it easier for me to keep track. If you are a youth or young adult and would like to help Douglas Roberts and me with a special message during the afternoon service, and/or participate in the annual pre-Thanksgiving lock-in and potato-peeling party, please contact one of us via text message.

With many thanks,