We weren’t sure who would come. We invited. We set the table. Waited, welcomed, and then gathered some more. This Thanksgiving, as a church Hillsong NYC wanted to do something to serve our local community.
In a city with so many people and so little space, we firstly did something that everyONE could participate in. We collected food.
New York is known for its people in shelters and for its growing population of working poor – those who make the tough choice daily between eating and paying bills. In response to this, incredibly on one Sunday we collected enough non-perishable food for 6605 meals to be prepared. We donated this to a local pantry that serves 800+ meals a day.
A few days later, on Thanksgiving Eve, in place of eXchange we hosted a banquet for the local community in need of some food this holiday season. We invited friends that we had made at the soup kitchen we serve at on a Saturday morning. While we weren’t sure how many would show, old people, young people and families poured in to be were seated and served as our guests.
On this special night, we not only hosted, but sat with and dined with our guests. Questions were asked, friendships were formed and people were helped. With room for a few more, teams headed out to the dark rainy streets to bring in people from the cold for a warm thanksgiving meal. Live music, centerpieces, silverware and all the trimmings made for a very special event. Upon the end of the evening families left with hampers of food for their Thanksgiving tables at home the following day.
There is nothing more humbling than grateful tears in a mother’s eyes from the demonstration of Love. What an honour to give, to serve and dine with – to help but also befriend – our neighbors. We have a lot to be thankful for.