“It’s just something that has always kind of stuck with the church throughout the years, because it’s a really great time for people to be intentional about giving thanks to God for all the blessings in our lives,” said Tim McHale, the church’s worship arts director.
“People talk about gratitude all the time – be grateful, be grateful – but it’s a really nice time to actually come together, and that’s the purpose, is to say what you’re grateful for,” he added, “say what you’ve kind of been through in the last year, share stories about your life and how … God has taken care of me.’
“That’s kind of the heart of it.”
McHale emphasized the importance of hosting the event on Thanksgiving Eve.
“It just has proved at least for us and the people here at our church to be just a really good time,” he noted. “Right before that day, kind of in the midst of your busy preparations, to stop, come together, don’t do any work, just come and think about what is the real reason for the season?”
“It’s kind of almost an intentional interruption into the business of the Thanksgiving season and the holiday season.”
The Night of Thanks will be a mix of songs and stories.
“It’s a time for people to kind of intimately and vulnerably share a story from their life,” McHale said. “ … There isn’t any moment where you listen to a big sermon or something like you would expect on a Sunday morning.”
“This service is about worship through music and also testimony sharing.”
McHale shared what he hopes people take away from the evening.
“We have everything at our fingertips, we have everything provided for us, we have access to so much,” he said. “All of our needs are really met, all of our physical needs.”
“We address the physical needs, but we also get to the heart of the matter, which is spiritual needs, and we want people to be grateful for all that God is and all that God has done.”
The church will also host a holiday candlelight service on Christmas Eve.
“There’s going to be music, there’s going to be a Christmas message, there’s going to be a closing out of the evening, with everyone having a candle when they all get lit,” he pointed out. “All the sound goes off in the building and everybody just sings ‘Silent Night,’ and you just hear a couple hundred voices, and all you see is candlelight and you all sing together.”
Night of Thanks starts at 7 p.m. and more information is available on the church Facebook page.
“People are made for community, people are made to sharpen one another and help one another and care for one another,” McHale maintained. “Nobody’s supposed to do life alone.”
“That’s what’s exciting about the holidays, because it brings people together and it helps them to live in some ways, the way that we’re supposed to live, all year long.”