A highlight of autumn comes every year on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Men from our church start cooking as early as 4am. The church kitchen is abuzz with activity while delicious aromas fill the church building. After second service, our church gathers together in the Christian Life Center to enjoy our Harvest Home Dinner. This year, our dinner will be on November 20th.
This occasion is wonderful because we eat great food, but also because we eat it together. Members who usually attend one service or the other meet new people while everybody shares a meal together. While gathered, this is the perfect opportunity to do other special things. It’s one of the few occasions throughout the year where people from all parts of the church come together.
During this year’s Harvest Home Dinner, we will be doing something bittersweet. This year we will be celebrating the faithful work of Marlene Zech. She has served God through working in our church for the past 35 years and will be retiring at the end of this year. While we are gathered together for our meal, we will offer a brief time of thanks and celebration for her decades of faithful, tireless service.
Throughout the years of Marlene’s service in her position in the church office, she has worked alongside Pastors Hindman, Feltman, Martin, countless interim and associate pastors, and myself. She has worked with over 50 staff members over the years. She knows the history of the church, its members, and the workings of the PC(USA). She has maintained the records of the church, including baptisms, weddings, funerals, and membership transfers. She has been responsible for bulletin creation and disseminating the annual report and our regular newsletter.
However, most importantly, she has demonstrated the love of Jesus and Christian hospitality to multiple generations of people. Consider all the people who’ve walked through the entrance of the church in the last 35 years. Marlene has greeted and assisted most of them.
Please feel free to bring cards, words of thanks and affirmation, or gifts to show your gratitude to Marlene during our Harvest Home Dinner on November 20th. Marlene, we give thanks to God for all of your service, and we can’t wait to see how God uses you in this next phase of life.
Austin D. Hill