November 2016

Each year, the NACCC issues a Thanksgiving Proclamation for its member churches. I am sharing this year’s here for your enjoyment and as a reminder that our gratitude is due to the Lord. Enjoy!


As a family of faith, we Congregationalists will always be linked with the celebration of Thanksgiving, the Pilgrims, the Native Americans, the feasting, and the giving thanks to God. It would do well for us, I believe, to be reminded of words written by William Bradford in 1623.


To put the following passage in context, Bradford described a time of great drought. He indicated that no rain had fallen from the 3rd of May through the middle of July. The earth was so parched that the ground looked like withered hay. Then,


“Upon which they set apart a solemn day of humiliation, to seek the Lord by humble and fervent prayer, in this great distress. And he was pleased to give them a gracious and speedy answer, both to their own and the Indians admiration, that lived among them. For all the morning and greatest part of the day, it was clear weather and very hot, and not a cloud or any sign of rain to be seen, yet toward evening it began to overcast, and shortly after to rain, with such sweet and gentle showers, as gave them cause of rejoicing and blessing God. It came, without either wind, or thunder, or any violence, and by degrees in that abundance, as that the earth was thoroughly wet and soaked therewith. Which did so apparently revive and quicken the decayed corn and other fruits, as was wonderful to see, and made the Indians astonished to behold; and afterwards the Lord sent them such seasonable showers, with interchange of fair warm weather, as, through his blessing, caused a fruitful and liberal harvest, to their no small comfort and rejoicing. For which mercy (in time convenient) they also set apart a day of thanksgiving.”


[Taken from pages 152-153 of Bradford’s History of Plymouth Plantation: 1606-1646, edited by William T. Davis, published by Barnes & Noble, Inc. of New York in 1959 as part of the Original Narratives of American History series]


We will gather with our own family and friends on this Thanksgiving Day, November 24, 2016. May we be as aware of the abundance of God’s blessings, given to us in due time, as William Bradford and the Plymouth Bay Colony were. May we not only be aware of them, but may we correctly attribute them to the loving mercy and grace of our God and be filled with “rejoicing.” AMEN.


Michael Chittum

Executive Director

National Association of Congregational Christian Churches

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