Several Vancouver-area Mennonite congregations celebrated an early Thanksgiving together on October 1 with a worship service and fellowship meal.
Sherbrooke Mennonite Church hosted the event, which included First United Spanish Mennonite Church, Vietnamese Mennonite Church and the Sherbrooke Mennonite Korean Group.
A Spanish song and a prayer in Vietnamese opened the service, with greetings and scripture readings in all four languages represented. Shel Boese, Mennonite Church B.C.’s executive minister, gave the message, which was translated into Spanish.
“We want to talk about thanksgiving and gratitude today,” said Boese, as he described gratitude as “laughter of the heart.”
Boese preached on 1 Thessalonians 5:15-22, where Paul gives the commands to rejoice, turning love back to God; to pray by petitioning God with needs and desires; and to give thanks, or reflecting on and naming the good things God has done. “It is a challenge that we are invited to become more of a Thanksgiving people,” he said. “While [showing gratitude] is a command, it really should flow out of our lived experience of God.”
Following the sermon, the congregation took communion. After the service, everyone enjoyed a Thanksgiving meal of turkey and mashed potatoes.
This is not the first time the Vancouver churches have collaborated for a multicultural worship event. A cross-cultural service involving six Mennonite congregations and three languages was held in January 2023.
—Amy Rinner Waddell