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Churches plan Thanksgiving dinners

For those who are going to be alone on Thanksgiving, or whodon’t have the means or ability to put together a holiday dinnerfor themselves or their families, there will be options availablein the community.

Two local church groups will have Thanksgiving dinners availableto the public – as simply a gesture of goodwill for those who areless fortunate during the holiday season, whether it befinancially, physically or because of a lack of family close enoughgeographically to share the day.

The Brookhaven Living Word Christian Center, at 1034 South FirstSt., will hold its Thanksgiving Day festivities Thursday from 11a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors can dine in or carry out plates.

Pastor Terrell Brinson and his wife Pastor Debra Brinson saidthe community is invited.

“We know during this time of the year there are a lot of peoplethat don’t really get to get a sitdown Thanksgiving meal, and thereare those that are working and don’t get to prepare,” said DebraBrinson. “So basically this is for anyone that would want to comeby to get a meal, and they can sit in with us or carry it out.”

Brinson said the BLWCC just wanted to let the people of theBrookhaven community know they are loved.

“People are in positions right now they never thought they’d bein, with loss of homes and jobs, and income is not what it used tobe,” she said. “This is a season where we can really let peopleknow that God is love and He has not forsaken them. It’s not goingto be this way always, but sometimes people get the mindset thatnobody loves them. It’s about reaching out and being ablessing.”

First Methodist Church is also hosting a Thanksgiving dinnerfrom 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving day. The event is named afterlate Brookhaven mayor Doug Sullivan, who died in July 2007.

“Right after construction started on the new building, I heardDoug Sullivan ask the preacher, ‘Now that we’ve got the newbuilding and kitchen, can we feed people on Thanksgiving?'” saidyouth director Mike Calhoun. “Doug passed away before its fruition,but he was one of the main people who pressed that idea.”

The holidays just emphasized Sullivan’s desire to help people,said his wife Karen Sullivan.

“I guess he just had a big heart, because for years he suggestedinstead of our family having a Thanksgiving that we serve thecommunity, and we just never could do it,” she said. “I don’t knowwhy it was always so important to him, but I think it’s because hewas always thinking of someone besides himself.”

Like BLWCC’s dinner, First Methodist’s dinner is open to anyonewho won’t be celebrating Thanksgiving with family for whateverreason.

“We’ve got some people who want to come spend time and havehuman contact,” Calhoun said. “We want the holiday to be ahighlight of the year for people instead of lowlight. If we cantouch someone, share something, that’s what it’s there for, becausewe want everyone to feel included.”

Takeout plates are also available. Calhoun said those who can’tmake the trip to the church are welcome to call and church memberswill bring them a plate or come pick them up to bring them to thechurch.

Area residents can call First Methodist Church at (601)833-3519. Brookhaven Living Word Christian Center can be reached at(601)833-7333.