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Churches offer free holiday meal

(Nov. 21, 2014) Two area churches will offer a free meal this Thanksgiving holiday.

The Ocean City Baptist Church will be having its annual Thanksgiving dinner for people looking to spend time with others and enjoy food on Thanksgiving Day.

“We have a good group of people who come every year. This is a family event, if you don’t have one, then come spend it with us,” said Pastor Sean Davis.

Members of the church and community volunteers prepare and serve the dinner which includes turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, string beans, cranberry sauce, pies, coffee, tea, cider and rolls.

For about 36 years, the Baptist church in downtown Ocean City has been providing Thanksgiving Day meals for families in the area, which has become a community event.

“It is a great time to give thanks and our community is very giving and gracious,” Davis said. “It is nice to see there are good people out there willing to help.”

More than 150 volunteers will be on hand to help out at this year’s dinner and many different churches in the area participate in the event.

“We might only see everyone from the different congregations once a year, but it’s very neat when we do,” Davis said.

Last year, the church provided 590 meals and organizers expect the same amount of people this year. Guests have the option of dining in, carrying food out or calling in advance for delivery. Of the 590 meals provided last year, 350 were delivered or carried out.

The church delivers to the Ocean City Police Department, fire department and local businesses who are open on Thanksgiving such as Starbucks and 7-Eleven.

The combination of donations from local businesses, people in the numerous congregations and community members allow Ocean City Baptist Church to facilitate the dinner without costing the ministry much money.

Berlin’s First Baptist Church will be providing Thanksgiving dinners for its 28th year.

“We love sharing the love of Christ with the community around us in this manner. I personally have been richly blessed through sharing in this ministry,” said Sharon Parsons, church office manager.

Last year, Berlin’s First Baptist Church provided 480 meals and they expect to serve about 500 this year.

About 30 volunteers and the church family provide turkeys and side dishes. The traditional dinner includes dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce, she said. 

Guests can dine in, carry out or call in advance to have a meal delivered. Last year, the church delivered about 200 meals.

Thanksgiving dinner will be offered between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 27 at the church, located at 613 Williams Street in Berlin.

Those who would like to attend should call 410-641-4306 in advance to reserve their seats or carryout meals. There will be a recording, the church will take the information and get back in touch with the caller.

The Ocean City Baptist Church will have its Thanksgiving Dinner the same day between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The dinner will be at the church, which is located next to the 7-Eleven at 102 N. Division Street. For those who need their meals delivered to Ocean City or West Ocean City, call ahead at 410-289-4054.

The Ocean City Christian Ministers Association will have its annual Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, Nov. 23 at Ocean City’s Baptist Church.

A combined choir from many community churches will perform worship songs and hymns.

There will be Thanksgiving testimonies, “it is a fun part of the service where people in the audience have the chance to share what they are thankful for,” said President Gary Steger.

Guests are asked to bring packaged food for the various food pantries in the area. In addition, money will be collected for Diakonia, a local provider of food, shelter and clothing for the Eastern Shore’s homeless population.

There will be desserts and fellowship after the service. For more information, call 410-289-6573.

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