LETTER: Town’s Religious Leaders Wish Wilmington A Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Wilmington,

The Clergy of Wilmington realize that we should not hold the Annual Thanksgiving Service this year due to the pandemic. We are sorry to miss this opportunity to gather to offer our expressions of gratitude. We could not gather last Easter, and in all likelihood, we will not be able to do so for Easter in 2021. While we cannot safely gather “in-person,” we offer this message as a poor substitute for seeing each other’s faces and raising our prayers to God.

While each of our congregations inhabits different parts of the body of Christ and expresses our faith in diverse ways, we do strongly affirm our relationship with each other. We agree that we love God, hold each other in high regard, and seek the collective well-being of all who live within our communities.

As clergy, we are grateful to the many whose leadership, service, and dedication contribute to our common good. We appreciate the educators who teach under enormous stress. We understand the first responders who have had too many occasions to offer their services. We affirm law enforcement and are aware of the untold risks taken for our safety. We affirm the civil servants who do their jobs with dignity, often behind the scenes and without recognition. You are professional, and we are grateful.

Our shared gratitude extends to the many volunteers who give countless hours to enrich our community: scout leaders, organizers of food pantries, book group leaders, poll workers, and members of civic organizations. You are the heart and soul of our communities, and we are grateful.

We are a diverse community. We are Catholic, we are mainline protestant, we are evangelical, we are Jewish, we are many different traditions, and we are no particular religion.  And whatever else we may be, we are grateful!

We wish you all a blessed Thanksgiving.

Pastor Ron Grimley, Senior Pastor, Abundant Life Church ofWilmington

Reverend Chris Fisk, Rector, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church

Deacon Tom Griffin, Parish of the Transfiguration

Reverend Peter Hey, Senior Pastor, Wilmington United Methodist Church

Reverend Tom VanAntwerp, Wilmington Campus Pastor, Grace Chapel

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