Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Lilly Endowment Awards Church of God Ministries Grant for CARE 2.0

By Carl Stagner

Earlier this year, Church of God Ministries was invited by Lilly Endowment to apply for a grant to extend the fruitful ministry of CARE—Clergy Advocacy and Resource Effort. The week of Thanksgiving brought with it news that a $500,000 grant has been awarded to carry on the program until at least 2021. No longer an initiative, the program known as CARE has been so well received by the Church of God movement that the goal is to sustain the work indefinitely. CARE 2.0 will bring with it continued engagement of pastors and congregational boards in pastoral retirement assistance and educational debt relief that have become synonymous with the program since it began in early 2016. Continue reading

If You’re Thankful

By Carl Stagner

In 1985, Laura Numeroff wrote a book that would become a modern children’s classic. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie soon led to numerous children’s books that filled in the blanks of a variety of “if-then” statements. For example, “if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk.” I’ve discovered the same theme in my daily life. Continue reading

Navy Chaplain: Don’t Just Thank Me for My Service

Chaplain Travis Coffey

By Carl Stagner

November is known for Thanksgiving. It’s also known for Veterans Day. This is the time of year that people count their blessings and name them one by one; certainly, we consider our men and women in uniform a tremendous blessing. But according to one Church of God chaplain to the U.S. Navy, being thankful isn’t enough. It’s great, but it stops short of what they need most. Travis Coffey gives us a glimpse of life as a Navy chaplain, how the Lord is working in the midst of his ministry, and how the Movement can best demonstrate true gratitude for those who serve God and country. Continue reading

From the Archives: Are We Thankful?

By W. E. Monk

Editor’s note—The following article by W. E. Monk was published in The Gospel Trumpet in February 1919. The first World War had come to an end only a few months earlier.

It has not been so very long since, when in almost every prayer that was uttered, God was besought to bring the war to a close; in fact, special meetings were called in many communities for the purpose of beseeching God to bring to an end the awful carnage. Continue reading

The Gift Goes On: California Church Captures the Essence of Christmas

Pastor Eric knows by name many who attend Jackets for Jesus.

By Carl Stagner

Sometimes we’re compelled to offer the spare change from the car console, though our default response might be to look the other way. Homeless people are a part of our towns and cities, yet even the Christian community too often turns a blind eye. Everybody’s encountered a homeless person at some point in life, but few choose to respond. Fear isn’t always the cause; it’s often simple lack of know-how. How do God’s people effectively minister to those who don’t have a place to lay their heads at night? Pastor Eric Denton and Central Community Christian Fellowship, a Church of God congregation in Riverside, California, wholeheartedly embraces Jesus’ command to love “the least of these.” Perhaps that’s why they’re willing to hang out on the streets of downtown Los Angeles every Sunday night. Continue reading

With Grateful Hearts

By Lori Dixon

The Thanksgiving and Christmas season is here and many are already deep into preparation for the arrival of family and friends. Seemingly endless to-do lists are being created to ensure that nothing is missed for the picture-perfect meal to share with those we love. Shared traditions include ushering in Christmas with decorating and Black Friday shopping strategizing as soon as the last fork-full has been consumed. In all the busyness and the desire to get things just right, I wonder if we spend as much time preparing our hearts, beginning with entering in with a grateful heart. Continue reading

From the Archives: Why Give Thanks?

By John Aukerman

More than one hundred years ago, Charles Dickens wrote these words “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

These words seem to be fitting for the present day, as well! In the face of rampant crime, runaway inflation, natural disasters, last year’s mindless tragedy in Guyana, and hundreds of other tragedies, the question arises, Why give thanks? At this Thanksgiving season, what is there to be thankful for? Continue reading

On Being Fed: A First Christmas on the Mission Field

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Photo: Beth, Jonathan and Miriam Todd

By Beth Todd

Our last blog entry (which you can find at www.jbtodd.org) was about a few recipes we have come to enjoy during our first few months in Brazil. Jonathan and I are serious food people. I blame it on my wonderful cook of a mother from Georgia. Jonathan only likes two kinds of pie—hot and cold. In fact, I find that our Portuguese vocabulary grows faster in food words than others. We are still trying to learn all the names of fruits here, many of which we have never seen before. We are relearning how to feed ourselves in a place that doesn’t have the same ingredients we are used to. Continue reading

The Church of God in the U.S. Celebrates Thanksgiving

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Photo: Turkey giveaway at Jubilee Christian Church, Boston, MA (courtesy jubileeboston.org).

By Carl Stagner

In the Church of God in the United States, Thursday, November 24, 2016, will not just be another day to stay home from work. While many must clock in on Thanksgiving Day, others who don’t have to are choosing not to sleep in, kick back on the sofa, and watch football all day. Instead, they’re choosing to give back. Ephesians 2:10 is written on the tablet of their hearts, and their appetite for serving others is greater than their appetite for turkey and all the trimmings. They understand that thankfulness and giving go hand-in-hand, and that such values must not be restricted to the fourth Thursday in November. Nevertheless, in worship, in teaching, in good works, and in fellowship, the Church of God loves to celebrate Thanksgiving. Continue reading

Evangelism, Revival Key Themes at KIST as Semester Concludes

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Photo: Open-air evangelism gives practical experience to students.

By Ernie and Lori Nicholas

Field experience provides students opportunities to expand upon what is learned in the classroom. Shown above is the evangelism class involved in an open-air service situated just above the main road junction market in Majengo. The students assisted the Vihiga Church of God with its outreach in this community, resulting in several being added to the church. Pastor Steve, a graduate of Kima International School of Theology (KIST) in Kenya, was excited about the potential ministries these students opened for his church. KIST’s mission is to assist in developing effective and influential servant leaders for the church here in East Africa. Continue reading

Blessed Churches Bless Communities This Thanksgiving

By Carl Stagner

To the Church of God, Thanksgiving is more than turkey, football, and forgetting that Black Friday used to be on Friday. Many Church of God congregations reach out into their communities in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, and even on the day itself. Merely thinking about how thankful they are just isn’t enough for these churches. They know they’ve been blessed and they must respond by blessing others. Continue reading