11/22/13 — Churches unite for community Thanksgiving service

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Churches unite for community Thanksgiving service

By From staff reports
Published in News on November 22, 2013 1:46 PM

A tradition more than 40 years old will continue Sunday at 7 p.m. when several churches will join to sponsor a community Thanksgiving worship service.

For this year's service, the ministers decided to broaden the participation and invited Goldsboro city employees and Seymour Johnson Air Force Base personnel to lead the services.

Goldsboro Fire Chief Gary Whaley will speak at the service to be held at Madison Avenue Baptist Church, 300 S. Madison Ave.

The sponsoring churches, in addition to Madison Avenue Baptist, are St. Luke United Methodist and First Christian.

Another part of that tradition is an offering being taken for charity. The recipient this year will be the Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro.

This year's program will be less about preachers and more about lay people -- specifically, lay people who are city workers and people from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, organizers said.

The Starlight Dance Band and other instrumentalists will play during the service. The program also includes a community church choir and a choral group from Seymour Johnson.

Musicians who want to help lead in the worship are invited to gather for rehearsal just before the service at 6 p.m. in the Madison Avenue sanctuary.

Madison Avenue pastor, the Rev. Dr. Bob Fulkerson, said the theme of the evening will be from 2 Timothy, "For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day."

Fulkerson said that $1,637.22 was raised when the soup kitchen was the beneficiary of the service two years ago, and that organizers hope to exceed that amount this year. He said people who bring checks for the offering should make them payable to the Community Soup Kitchen of Goldsboro.

The soup kitchen has served nearly 900,000 meals to the hungry of Wayne County since 1980.

The churches have been joined by other congregations that are affiliated with a community-wide fellowship of churches whose pastors are members of Clergy Living in Faith and Fellowship (CLIFF).

CLIFF sponsors several community-wide worship services each year, including Lenten services leading up to Easter and Advent services in the weeks before Christmas. The churches of CLIFF take turns hosting these services.

This year's Advent services will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 4, at noon at Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.

For more information, call Madison Avenue Baptist Church at 919-734-3761.