Many churches in Suzhou, Jiangsu, and Northeast China Theological Seminary presented activities with different themes during "Thanksgiving Month".
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November every year in the United States, due to which November is called Thanksgiving Month. As Thanksgiving Day was approaching, churches are also preparing for activities, and many believers offered fruits and vegetables, according to Suzhou CC&TSPM.
Suzhou Shishan Church held a Thanksgiving worship service with the theme of “Grateful to You” on November 20. Meng Yao preached with the title “Much More Than Enough”, sharing God’s blessing and encouraging believers to pay attention to the abundance of their spiritual life.
Jiayin Choir presented hymns “A Poem of Thanks” and “You Support Me”. Jeduthun Choir brought a poem recitation “A Song of Thanksgiving” in background music, as well as a male and the female vocal duet “A Song of Thanks". The Joy Dance Team presented “Anthem of heaven”. The service ended with worship and praise from Joshua Praise Group.
At the exchange meeting conducted by the Joy Dance Team on November 22 , each one shared their past service experiences and decided to participate in the church festival service in the form of dance, agreeing to use fixed spiritual practice to promote team cohesiveness.
Dushu Lake Church held a “Thanksgiving, Worship & Praise Meeting” on the morning of November 20. Pastor Xu Changfu preached with the title of “Thanksgiving Trilogy”, urging attendees to know, accept, and be content with the Lord’s grace. The praise group sang 12 songs such as “Grace”, “Begging the Lord to Use Us” and “Flowers in Bloom” to praise God.
Suzhou Xiangcheng Church held a Thanksgiving service on October 20. Rev. Kuai Mo preached with the title “Faith and Wealth”, urging believers to treat wealth correctly and earn money according to God’s will. He stated that Christians should also always be grateful and willing to give, help others and become the blessings of more people.
The group for greeting newcomers, which is of Mujia Garden Church, conducted a Thanksgiving exchange meeting on November 20. The staff members of the group reviewed the grace and challenges they experienced in the past year, sharing their service experiences and making a prospect for the following ministry.
As an important part of the pastoral work of the church, the ministry of the group for greeting newcomers is also a window for external display. Church members agreed that in the next new year they would continue to do a good job of welcoming new people who could feel the warmth of the church and the love of God.
Northeast Theological Seminary held a Thanksgiving Day worship service on November 17, expressing gratitude to God in a uniquely Chinese way, according to CCC&TSPM.
The worship service was divided into two parts, the first of which was the Thanksgiving service. Rev. Wang Jingli preached. By using Biblical characters like Abel, Noah, Abraham, Job, and David who offered sacrifices and thanksgiving to God, she shared how believers should be thankful to God. Faculty and students of the seminary responded to the sermon by reciting the Prayer of Saint Francis together.
The second part of the worship presented the performance of each class, including dance, chorus, and life dramas. For example, “Fan Dance” presented in the third grade of undergraduate class uses the song “Fair and Holy Jesus Name!” which is with Chinese national tune, as the dance background music. The dance program “All Creations Filled by Your Love”, was from the first-grade undergraduate class. The costumes, dances, and lyrics, also fully reflected Chinese characteristics. Performers of the life drama “Gratitude” from the first grade of technical secondary school reproduced the life transformation process of refusing evil and choosing the good as well as replacing the old with the new in Christ. Performers from the second grade of technical secondary presented the chorus “Northeast Theological Seminary is Our Home”, which was created by themselves.
- Translated by Stephen Huang