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First United Methodist Church to host annual Thanksgiving luncheon

The First United Methodist Church invites locals to its annual Thanksgiving Day luncheon.

FUMC has hosted the Doug Sullivan Community Thanksgiving lunch for over a decade, and they expect this year to be the most cheerful yet.

Alderwoman-at-Large Karen Sullivan — whose late husband helped inspire the luncheon — has made community service a major part of her Thanksgiving routine. One of FUMC’s most spirited volunteers, she is raring to roll up her sleeves, grab a ladle and serve as much gravy as it takes to make Nov. 23 special for the people of Lincoln County.

“For 11 years, church and community members have used their various gifts — baking, chopping, organizing, decorating, delivering and greeting — to make the community luncheon a part of their Thanksgiving tradition,” she said.

Over time, the event really has developed into a community affair. Students from Brookhaven High School and Alexander Junior High School spent the month of November collecting canned sweet potatoes and green beans to give to the church, and the art students at BHS design colorful placemats to brighten up the FUMC Ministry Center.

“Various members of the church and other individuals also donate homemade desserts,” Sullivan said.

According to Sullivan, the church fed around 1,200 individuals last year, and that figure makes her proud.

“It’s really grown since the first year, when we were having to knock on doors,” she said.

The luncheon offers area residents a vibrant and festive place to spend Thanksgiving, regardless of their circumstances.

“We do feed the homeless,” Sullivan said. “But it is also open to anybody in the community. There are plenty of people who are alone on Thanksgiving Day, and we don’t want that.”

FUMC is so passionate about feeding people that they offer three different Thanksgiving service options. Locals are welcome to pick up food to go, sit down and dine in the Ministry Center or have a boxed dinner delivered directly to their front door.

“If I’m delivering, I bring them enough food for two meals,” Sullivan said, chuckling.

Anyone interested in having a meal delivered should contact the FUMC office at 601-833-3519 by Monday to schedule a drop off. Everyone else is welcome to stop by the church’s Ministry Center — located behind the downtown Post Office — between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thanksgiving Day and enjoy a home cooked meal and some company.

Sullivan believes the most important part of celebrating Thanksgiving is sharing joy and fellowship with the community.

“1 Peter 4:10 says that each of us should use whatever gifts we have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms,” she said.

Story by Trapper Kinchen