From the Board President...
It is generally accepted that the first “official” Thanksgiving Day was celebrated in November 1621 by a small group of Pilgrims and Native Americans. The Pilgrims arrived in New England in November 1620 and suffered greatly through that first winter where they experienced harsh weather and illness that took the lives of almost 40% of their small settlement. Through it all they were thankful that God had provided for them during the severe conditions of this new world. The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims the art of hunting and fishing and how to plant crops. Governor William Bradford made arrangements to celebrate the bountiful harvest and to recognize the help given to the Pilgrims by the Native Americans with a feast which became an annual event.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday; not because I serve at Thanksgiving Church, but because it’s a time when family and friends gather to share a meal and reflect on how they have been blessed in the past year.
This year might be more difficult to be thankful due to the worldwide pandemic where businesses and churches alike have struggled to survive, and many have been forced to close or cease to exist. People have lost jobs, friends and family members have become infected with the COVID-19 virus, many are experiencing isolation, and sadly others have succumbed to this deadly disease.
The Apostle Paul encourages us to Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5: 16-17). Paul also writes in Philippians 4: 11B-13; I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. Whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
I’m thankful for the Church Network (TCN) which has provided me valuable information to help me navigate the challenges of 2020 through webinars, Zoom meetings, e-learning lab modules, the July virtual conference, and networking opportunities with my local chapter members as well as others with whom I have developed a relationship around the country.
I’m thankful for the TCN staff (Phill Martin - CEO, Ernestine Haas – Director of Events and Publications, Tammy Mirau – Director of Operations, and Darby Roach – Engagement Coordinator) who all have servant hearts as they work to support our membership, business partners, vendors, and the community at large. I’m thankful for the TCN Board of Directors who in addition to serving in their local ministries also dedicate numerous hours leading our association. I’m thankful for the members, business partners , and vendors of TCN, many with whom I have developed a long and heartfelt relationship over the years. I’m thankful to be part of an association that strives to connect, develop , and strengthen church leaders in administration so that you Don’t Go It Alone! especially in this difficult year.
Wishing you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving from TCN.
Harold Carlson, CCA