Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving from the clergy and vestry of All Saints!

Why do Americans celebrate Thanksgiving Day? (via

We can trace this historic American Christian tradition to the year 1623. After the harvest crops were gathered in November 1623, Governor William Bradford of the 1620 Pilgrim Colony, “Plymouth Plantation” in Plymouth, Massachusetts proclaimed:

"All ye Pilgrims with your wives and little ones do gather at the Meeting House, on the hill… there to listen to the pastor, and render Thanksgiving to the Almighty God for all His blessings."

This is the origin of our annual Thanksgiving Day celebration. Congress of the United States has proclaimed National Days of Thanksgiving to Almighty God many times throughout the following years. On November 1, 1777, by order of Congress, the first National Thanksgiving Proclamation was proclaimed, and signed by Henry Laurens, President of Continental Congress. The third Thursday of December, 1777 was thus officially set aside:

"…for solemn thanksgiving and praise. That with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feelings of their hearts, and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor;… and their humble and earnest supplication that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them (their manifold sins) out of remembrance… That it may please Him… to take schools and seminaries of education, so necessary for cultivating the principles of true liberty, virtue and piety under His nurturing hand, and to prosper the means of religion for the promotion and enlargement of that kingdom which consisteth of 'righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost'…"

Then again, on January 1, 1795, our first United States President, George Washington, wrote his famed National Thanksgiving Proclamation, in which he says that it is…

"…our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue is… our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced…"

Thursday, the 19th day of February, 1795 was thus set aside by George Washington as a National Day of Thanksgiving.

Many years later, on October 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, by Act of Congress, an annual National Day of Thanksgiving "on the last Thursday of November, as a day ofThanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens." In thisThanksgiving proclamation, our 16th President says that it is…

"…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…"

So it is that on Thanksgiving Day each year, Americans give thanks to Almighty God for all His blessings and mercies toward us throughout the year.

Thanksgiving Day Prayer from the Book of Common Prayer (page 246)

Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Damien Center, Dayspring Center, and Homeward Bound (oh my!)

As Thanksgiving approaches and the weather gets colder, All Saints has three great ways to get involved in supporting our community:

Damien Center Ingathering

As we have done in the past, we will have a special Thanksgiving ingathering of food for the Damien Center's Coby Palmer Food Pantry. The Damien Center offers a variety of services for people living with AIDS, and All Saints has been a longtime partner. In addition to traditional Thanksgiving food items (canned ham, salmon, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, canned vegetables, canned fruit, and dessert mixes), the Damien Center has also expressed a special need for personal hygiene items like toothpaste, soap, and shampoo. On Sunday, November 20, we will bring contributions up to the altar to be blessed before delivering them to the Damien Center.

Dayspring Center Blanket Collection

The Old Northside is working with the Dayspring Center to collect blankets and throws. The Dayspring Center is an emergency shelter for homeless families with children immediately to the south of the church. Blankets will be used to help keep families warm.

Homeward Bound Walk

If blankets aren't quite your thing, but you still want to support efforts to end homelessness in Indianapolis, then support the All Saints team in the Homeward Bound walk. The 1-mile walk starts at City Market at 5:30pm on Monday, December 19. And if it seems like that time might be a little dark and a little cold, that's part of the point. Team All Saints will be raising funds for the Dayspring Center and Horizon House, a homeless day shelter and service center. Join Team All Saints or make a contribution today.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Perpetual Witness

Hot Off the Presses!

For many years, Father Gordon Chastain has been working on a history of the parish.

He has finished 
A Perpetual Witness, A Story of Grace and All Saints 
and it has now been published. 

Copies are available for free to all members in good standing
as a gift from the Vestry and Centennial Committee. 

If you would like to assist in the cost of publication 
or desire to purchase the book, the cost is $40.
Checks should note A Perpetual Witness in the memo field.

Copies will be made available at church on Sunday and in the church office during the week.