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Churches give thanks; ELCA churches take turns hosting Thanksgiving Eve services

Plenty of people attend Christmas Eve services, but a group of churches in Jamestown will unite once again this year for a Thanksgiving Eve service, starting at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

The longstanding tradition joins together people from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America churches in Jamestown — Trinity, Atonement, Immanuel and St. John’s Lutheran.

However, everyone is welcome to attend, said the Rev. Suzanne Orlopp, pastor at St. John’s.

“It’s a service of Thanksgiving,” Orlopp said. “We focus on hymns that sing about how blessed we are.”

The churches usually rotate the location and preachers for the service. St. John’s turn to host comes just as its massive sanctuary remodel has been finished.

This year, Orlopp will preside at the service, and the Rev. Russ Pollock, interim pastor at St. John’s, will preach. Leaders from Atonement, Trinity and Immanuel will assist.

A joint choir will sing a Thanksgiving medley during the service, practicing just before the service at 6 p.m. at the church.

“It’s fun to have voices come together and show a unity of the churches,” Orlopp said.

The service includes communion, as well as a special offering, with money split between Community Action in Jamestown and ELCA World Hunger Relief.

In addition, an in-kind collection will be taken for the food pantry, and people are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items and other needed items, such as diapers and personal care products.

“As we come together as a community, we can share God’s blessings with others,” Orlopp said.

The Gospel reading for the service is from Matthew 6: 25-33, which concerns anxiety. The piece is most famous for the line “Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

People are also invited to coffee and fellowship after the service, with pie.

“It provides families an opportunity to worship together,” Orlopp said.

Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453

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