A Thanksgiving of "Giving"

By Jarice “Jay” Brodie
November 2011

The joy in giving from a Morning Star new member’s point of view:
I have been blessed to experience my first “Thanksgiving Food Basket Distribution” by Morning Star Community Christian Center. It truly was a humbling experience for me given that I am a fairly new member of Morning Star.

On Tuesday, November 22, members of Morning Star joined together with the direction of the Hospitality ministry to give out over 600 Thanksgiving baskets chockfull of turkey and other holiday fixings. Based on this contribution to the community, the church was able to feed over two thousand people.

Thanksgiving Basket   
In the past, I always expected to see people who had the look of destitution upon their faces while waiting in line for a free food distribution, but as I approached the line of individuals leading out the front door of Morning Star, I was instantly reminded of the tough times we are in economically as well as spiritually as a society. I recognized young, seasoned, and single parents holding the hands of their children – mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, neighbors chatting with one another, an entire community of love. Further down the line I noticed individuals who appeared to be on their way to work, and children with knapsacks on their backs, obviously headed to school. But what was the most telling about the people in line was that everyone had smiles on their faces and they were laughing and joking with one another.

I was on a mission as a member of the PR Ministry to take photos and meet and speak with some of the folks who descended upon Morning Star to receive a Thanksgiving Basket. I greeted our guests who were in line with a hearty “good morning,” and was greeted back with bright smiles and good morning as well. When I arrived at the entrance of the church’s lower level where the registration table was positioned, I immediately started shooting pictures. I then turned the corner and was amazed to see enough food to fill a small neighborhood supermarket! And then, there were more smiles; they were plastered on the faces of the volunteers of the “Hospitality Ministry.” As I began to take pictures again, all that I could see was the joy of giving beaming from each member as they worked tirelessly to pack love and food into each basket.

Anyone can see why the word “community” is prominently placed in the name of Morning Star Community Christian Center. Through “stewardship” Morning Star served the community.

1 John 4:19 “We love, because he first loved us.”

From the smiles and love illuminating from the volunteers or Morning Star members that love was transferred to all who walked away with a food basket. One person in particular, Shirley Vaughan, a 51-year-old woman from Roselle, NJ, was overjoyed to receive a much needed gift from God. I asked Ms. Vaughan if she would express what receiving this type of assistance meant to her. As I listened, her face lit up as she explained to me that her unemployment benefits ended recently, and that she has been out of work a few years. Ms. Vaughn said that this type of event was highly appreciated and a timely blessing for her, and that she was very grateful. Another joyful recipient was Nicole St. Joseph of Linden, NJ. This was Nicole’s second time receiving a basket and, though she is not a member of Morning Star, she mentioned that she visits often and one day may join.

These are just some of the miracles of joy that I witnessed on this day. I am in awe at God’s power and glory. To be a part of any direction from God and led by Pastor Therman E. Evans is so joyful and rewarding. During these 49 days I have learned so much, the important thing I have learned is God led me to my spiritual home. A spiritual home where there are no boundaries when it comes to giving back. A spiritual home where worship and praise of God are done effortlessly, and a spiritual home where it is hard to tell who is giving and who is receiving because you witness God working in some of those waiting in line without them realizing it. It was amazing, and yes, I was blessed to experience my first Thanksgiving basket distribution, and it won’t be my last.

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