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Area churches offer opportunities for community members to give thanks for the blessings in their lives this holiday season.
Churches in Newton and Conover will gather at Abernethy Laurels' Spirit Place on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. The annual event brings together several area congregations for a joint worship and Thanksgiving service.
"It goes back to the pilgrims who joined together for a time of thanksgiving," said Abernethy Laurels Chaplain Larry Bolick.
Bolick is part of the area ministerial group, which meets twice a month to plan events in the community.
Other participating churches include Beth Eden Lutheran Church of Newton, First United Methodist Church of Newton, First Presbyterian Church of Newton, Grace Reformed United Church of Christ in Newton, New Vision Church of Conover, Trinity Baptist Church of Newton, Episcopal Church of the Epiphany of Newton and St. Paul's United Methodist Church of Newton.
The Rev. Robert Silber, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry executive director, will lead the service.
Aberbethy Laurels collected canned goods forthree weeks to donate to ECCCM. Any offering collected during the service will go to support ECCCM and its services for area residents in need.
"It's great for communities to get together and lift up how God has blessed them," Bolick said.
Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax will also be at the service to read the Thanksgiving presidential proclamation.
Several churches in Hickory will participate in the 42nd annual Community Thanksgiving Day Service, which is scheduled Nov. 25 at 10 a.m. at Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory.
"Thanksgiving is one day of the year that has been designated to give thanks," said Deborah McEachran, associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Hickory.
First Presbyterian Church is one of the churches participating in the Community Thanksgiving Day Service.
"It is a day of unity, and (the service) is a common gathering," McEachran said. "It's all something we share in common."
The event is held at Corinth Reformed Church in Hickory, with the Rev. Dr. Bob Thompson delivering the sermon "Through all generations."
The Thanksgiving Day service is always held at Corinth Reformed Church, but participating churches rotate their clergy members to deliver the sermon.
Other participating churches include St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Hickory, Viewmont Baptist Church, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church of Hickory, First Presbyterian Church of Hickory, St. Luke's United Methodist Church of Hickory and Hickory Jewish Center.
Because of the variety of churches participating, the service will be an inter-faith service for various denominations and faiths.
Combined choirs from the participating organizations will sing at the service, and the Unifour Brass Ensemble will also perform.
Offering collected during the service will benefit the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry.
The public is invited to attend the Community Thanksgiving Day Service, which will be held at 150 16th Ave. NW.
Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Newton will hold a free Thanksgiving meal Nov. 25 from noon to 3 p.m. Food will be served at the church, located at 338 E. D St. in Newton.