Back in 2015 we held a Thanksgiving service at Second Christian Reformed Church of Randolph, Wisconsin, based on my favorite Thanksgiving song, “For the Beauty of the Earth.” I still think about that service, so in 2019 I decided to bring it back. I’ve updated some things and added some things, but I followed the same pattern and used the same Scripture texts.
At Hope Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Denver, Colorado, Pastor Michelle VanDenBerg, Debra Komodore, Lu Lofe, and the worship visuals team explored the idea of using rich liturgical visual images as an expression of thanksgiving.
- Share stories of God’s grace: For ideas on how to do this, see crcna.org/FaithFormation/toolkits/faith-storytelling-toolkit.
- Symphony of praise: Invite children (and children at heart) to come forward and choose either a small percussive instrument, a flag, or a ribbon to use during a sung time of praise.
This litany is adapted from one I wrote for our worship gathering on the Sunday of Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. The litany draws from the 1 Chronicles 16 account of David arranging musicians, priests, and others to praise God after the ark of the covenant had returned to Jerusalem. The celebratory context and the involvement of a wide range of voices and instruments encourages us to include multiple voices and instruments in our own thanksgiving celebrations.
(Note: All Reader parts come from 1 Chronicles 16:8–36, NIV)
As our worship team began planning for Thanksgiving, we realized we wanted to do more than offer a one-time Thanksgiving service. We wanted the congregation to think about what they were thankful for through the whole Thanksgiving season, and we also wanted them to think about how they could give back to God. This series was started six weeks before Thanksgiving.