My name is Bill Spangler, I serve on the Christian Social Action Commission at St. Luke, and I’m writing about our Thanksgiving Sharing project. Twenty-seven years ago, when the Christian Social Action Commission was just starting, one of the very first programs we initiated was Thanksgiving Sharing. Over 3500 Baskets later, we’re still going strong!
The project is always a wonder to behold – literally hundreds of people come together to gather the names of the people we serve and our deliverers, to order, purchase, and transport the food, build the baskets and more. Our recipients are referred from Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement, Eskinazi Health, Holy Family Shelter Transitional Housing, St Rita’s, Holy Angels and more. The best way to comprehend the scope of this project is to help organize the food and baskets next Sunday, November 19, or peak into the Narthex at 2 PM on Tuesday the 21st as the turkeys are added. That exercise can’t help but make you proud of your fellow parishioners, and probably bring a smile to your face as well.
That’s the logistical side of the project, and it’s all essential, fulfilling and wonderful.
But the spiritual essence of the project comes from the Sharing itself… to share much more than food. To truly see those we may only rarely encounter… to offer a warm smile, a kind word, perhaps a moment of shared joy. To reflect the welcoming, loving face of Christ.. to offer Hope.
I encourage you to bring along your family if you can, to center yourself in prayer before you go, and to discuss the experience afterwards. And as your family gathers on Thanksgiving, perhaps to say a prayer for the person you recently encountered, and for those in need in our city and around the world.
May each of you have a truly Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving Holiday. Thank you!