It’s no secret that River Road Church can rightly be called a “niche church” due to the formality of our worship style, the architecture of our worship spaces, our ecumenical outlook, and the incredible preaching we hear week after week! (Just kidding on that last one). Despite what makes us unique, I appreciate that we maintain great relationships with other churches in our neighborhood and in the larger Baptist community. One of the ways we have sought to live out these relationship commitments is through a Community Thanksgiving Service. Many of you have remarked how much you enjoyed that worship service.

Looking through our bulletin archives, it appears we haven’t held this service in a few years. The last time I met with the West End Pastor’s Group, I raised the idea of reviving this service. Unfortunately, the idea was met with a rather tepid response. Undeterred, I spoke with my friend, Rev. Dr. Theodore Brown, pastor of Quioccasin Baptist Church, a nearby African-American congregation, about the possibility of a Quioccasin-River Road joint Thanksgiving service. (You may recall that Dr. Brown led Wednesday night Bible Study at our church several months ago and a number of his congregants accompanied him). He loved the idea and agreed for his church to participate.

On Monday, November 19 at 6:30 pm, we will gather in the River Road Sanctuary to worship God and express our thanksgiving for God’s generous blessings in our lives, and we will do so with our friends from Quioccasin Baptist.

I’d love for our congregation to nurture a relationship with Quioccasin Baptist, and for several reasons. One is that our country and our world is far too divided along political, social, and racial lines. Here the church has an opportunity to proclaim the unity we find in Christ. Moreover, when build friendships and have conversations with those who are different, we find those differences seem to fade in light of all we share in common. That alone gives us reason to give thanks.

I hope you’ll make plans now to attend this service as we lift our hearts to God in gratitude and celebration of all God is doing in our church, in our world, and in our lives. Thanks be to God!