CROWN POINT - For many, Thanksgiving is holiday that begins a series of celebrations observed by many communities of faith.
To kick off the season, the First Congregational Church in Crown Point will host a 1700-style New England service Sunday, Nov. 22, at 9:30 a.m.
"With families coming together, with tables full of specially prepared foods, and the sharing of family stories and memories, the day we observe as Thanksgiving would seem full and complete," Pastor David Hirtle said. "Those who gather at the historic First Congregational Church here in Crown Point will walk back into history to understand the what their church forefathers experienced in the early 1700s on a small, wind-swept place referred to as the Plymouth Colony.
Hirtle has put together a somewhat authentic service that came from the church records of First Congregational Church of New Bedford, Mass. That church, organized in 1696, had as a part of its membership a number of the Plymouth Colony families.
"Those who sailed from England to the untamed shores of what is now Provincetown and Plymouth, Mass., were, as we commonly refer to today, Pilgrims and Separatists," Hirtle said. "They left their homes and sailed together in hopes of finding a place where they could worship freely.
"The service will walk the participants through the importance of community," he continued. "It will note the harshness of the year just past and the acknowledgement that their survival was dependent not only upon their immediate community but also the blessings realized from the natives who showed them how to survive."
The ancient bell of the Brick Church in the Park will peel as it has for more than 200 years, calling the community to worship. The songs that will be sung will speak of the blessings experienced and looked for.
"Many of our common day traditions will be explained," Hirtle said. "It will be an opportunity to give thanks with a grateful heart as a community comes together becoming something greater then themselves.
"All are invited to step back and, with their community, give thanks," he concluded.