Perhaps even more than Christmas, Thanksgiving is the holiday where people come together to tell their loved ones just how much they mean to them.
Perhaps nothing better exemplifies that togetherness than the annual Thanksgiving church service in Harker Heights, in which the congregations from seven different churches gather under one roof to celebrate the season.
This year the host church was St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church, 1000 Farm-to-Market 2410 in Harker Heights, and more than 100 area residents gathered for the service.
“It is very nice to be hosting again,” said Father Richard O’Rourke, pastor of St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church. “It’s a very powerful experience and a great opportunity to glorify God.”
O’Rourke has been pastor of the church for 23 years and said he has hosted the annual service at least three times in those 23 years.
Members of St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church also expressed excitement at being the host church and getting to participate in the service.
“I think it is awesome that they get together for these services,” church member Rosanna Brown said. “We have been coming to this church since 1999, but this is actually the first time we have gotten to participate in the Thanksgiving service.
“I just think it is amazing that we as Americans come together once a year to say thank you for the blessings in our life.”
Attendees at the annual service shared some of their Thanksgiving plans with family and friends.
“This year my wife, daughter and I are metting my wife’s family in Waco,” Trinity Baptist Church Pastor David Morgan said. “It is going to be a relatively small affair, maybe about 12 people will be there. If it was my family, there would be close to 40 people there.”
Even though the service was being hosted at St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church, the sermon was presented by a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Harker Heights.
“God never interrupts you just to be interrupting you; he has a purpose,” James Freeman said. “Sometimes God makes it uncomfortable for us when we have gotten too comfortable, so make sure to look around for what God is trying to show you.”
The special music was conducted by Heights Korean Baptist Church.
The Trinity Baptist Church presented the Sermon, gave the Offertory Prayer, led the Affirmation of Faith and read the Thanksgiving Scripture.
The Harker Heights United Methodist Church discussed the Joys, Concerns and Intercessions, and led the Lord’s Prayer.
First Assembly of God led the Responsive Reading, and gave the Benediction.
As in past years, the offering received in the service will be given to the Harker Heights Food Care Center.