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BUMC once again provides Thanksgiving for the community

Thanksgiving at BUMC (copy)

More than 100 guests attend the Thanksgiving meal prepared by Bethlehem United Methodist Church each year.

This Thanksgiving, Bethlehem United Methodist Church will continue its tradition of inviting the lake community together for good food and fellowship.

After a two year hiatus due to COVID-19, church members are once again finalizing preparations for a Thanksgiving feast. The meal often attracts more than 100 visitors each year since it began in 2012.

“We are thankful we are finally able to have Thanksgiving at Bethlehem United Methodist Church once again,” said Marty Bower who is in charge of kitchen preparations for the meal.

Anyone is welcome to the church’s large, open dining hall for the feast. Bower said there is no cost for the meal and no donations are accepted.

People can come to Thanksgiving for any reason; whether it is due to financial hardship or just because they want to spend the holiday around other people. Bower said many people come each year because they don’t have family nearby and don’t want to be alone.

Bower said people are encouraged to come and socialize with others to make everyone feel together for Thanksgiving. Volunteers also take time to speak with visitors as they are provided with a plate of food.

Pastor Scott Davis came to the church in July. While he has yet to attend one of the Thanksgiving meals, he said it was one of the outreach programs that was talked about most by members.

“They love hosting large groups,” Davis said of the volunteers. “The people who volunteer have such a joy for it.”

Volunteers are expected to arrive early on Thursday to begin cooking the traditional holiday meal. Nearly everything is cooked in the church’s large kitchen. Only the turkey and variety of pies and cakes are cooked outside the kitchen at the homes of volunteers.

The full menu for the dinner, in addition to the turkey, includes dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry jelly and rolls.

Bower said the meal begins and 12 noon on Thanksgiving and will continue until 3 p.m. People are welcome to come by at any point during that time and share in the fellowship.

“It is a wide open door for anyone,” Davis said.

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