Interfaith Thanksgiving service

The annual Newark Interfaith Thanksgiving Service was held at Newark United Methodist Church.

On Nov. 23, the Newark community gathered for its 33rd-annual interfaith Thanksgiving service. The event included reflections from representatives of many different faiths, and the year’s theme was “Neighbors Caring for Neighbors.”

Organizers especially recognized first responders, frontline healthcare providers and other essential workers. At the end of the service, in-person attendees were asked to write on a strip of paper a specific way that they would commit to caring for another person in the coming year.

These responses are compiled below, and organizers want to share this widely as a way of affirming the importance of caring and serving.

• Resume volunteering at Newark Empowerment Center

• I plan to continue to work to help change systems that disadvantage people of color, especially to challenge the death penalty

• Look out for our neighbors and their families, especially kids when parents are away

• Grow food for the hungry

• Monthly take homemade food to my elderly neighbors

• Welcome new neighbors to the area

• Buy and cook one meal each month for Emmanuel Dining Room

• Serve at Hope Dining Room

• Love my husband

• Each morning I will continue to associate those who are dear to me and/or helped me in times of need with thanks to God

• Volunteer once a week with Friendship House or Hope Center

• Check on shut-ins from my church family

• Continue to teach and assist leaders and organizations on how to help their teams have a workplace where they feel safe, cared for and appreciated

• Contribute to the food cupboard

• When I am tempted to cherish and nurture my own pain, first I will try to do something about the pain of someone else

• Be more tolerant of others and less judgmental

• Showing love and hope to another person once a day

• Bring care and companionship to those in grief, especially those who have lost children

• Weekly visit my neighbor who is bedridden

• Help in church kitchen

• Be forgiving with cars and pedestrians

• “Pay it forward” in a local coffee shop

• Reach out via a visit or phone call to friends I know who are struggling or isolated

• Purchase grocery items for local food banks

• React with more patience and love to my children

• Serve with Meals on Wheels

• Continue with reaching out to the “fourth world” — those who have been abandoned and despised

• Support my church’s leaders with love, charity, compassion, and humility

• Continue my mission to encounter neighbors in the grounds of my church

• Call my sister once a month

• Reach out and check on someone who lost her husband this fall

• Help neighbor with dementia

• Make eye contact and smile

• Help foster children

• Help at Hope Dining Room; be a better Christian

• Advocate for progressive legislation in Delaware

• Check in on church friends who have not returned for in-person worship

• Continue to care for my 650 students every day; raise awareness of justice issues surrounding diversity of all kinds

• Feed others

• Call a friend once a month

• Continue to love and support my family, both immediate and family by marriage

• Offer to pick up groceries for “P”

• Continue volunteering at church and the welcome center weekly

• Get to know my neighbors around church and home

• Do a better job of modeling service for my children (they are stuck on generic “Sunday school answers”)

• Help clean up after class

• Carry forth “Team Vision Forward” with the community

• Continue to be a reflection of God’s love in Jesus’ name

• Openly offer to help without waiting to be asked

• Care for the very sick and the elderly

• Make Sunday dinners for “Bread of Life” (a ministry to the homeless)

• Fight racism

• Help my congregation adapt to changing times through love

• Be aware of the needs of others and with God’s help do all I can

• Introduce myself to the four neighbors on either side of my house, just to check in and say hello

• Greet my neighbors every day with love that begins in the heart

• Help at food bank at least three times next year

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