The Pane: Nourishing Our Emotional and Spiritual Lives Through the Thanksgiving Gathering


That time of year again is here. It’s two months where so much good food and desserts are available that it would be rude to rob your belling of the delight. But, typically, when November comes around, I accept that scale is not going to tilt well in my favor.

But Thanksgiving, holiday parties, and Christmas meals are not just about consuming moist turkey, cranberries, honey-baked hams, sweet potato casseroles, or pie upon pie upon pie. No, the meal is merely a vessel to experience life with others.

As acclaimed chef Eric Ripert put it, “Cooking is a holistic process of planning, preparing, dining, and sharing food. I place food at the center of our humanity, as it nourishes not only our physical bodies but also our emotional and spiritual lives. Food is truly a cultural phenomenon that informs our traditions and our relationship with the earth. I genuinely believe that food connects us all.”

Over the last 19-months, we have not only experienced the strain of distance in familial relationships, but we have missed the full participation of UBC’s church members, as many of us remain home as a result of the circumstances we face.

However, as we continue to make positive strides in combating this pandemic stage, we want to create safe opportunities for us to celebrate the goodness of God and the beauty of the faith community we call University Baptist Church.

In good faith of creating the safest circumstances to gather over a meal, we will host an outdoor Thanksgiving Gathering on Sunday, November 21 at 4:30 pm. This will be an event centered around sharing good conversations, enjoying a hearty meal, and soaking in the richness of faith-centered relationships.


We are inviting participants to sign up to bring one of the following items for the meal: turkey, green beans, a potato dish, stuffing, cranberries, rolls, or dessert. You can sign up to bring an item here or contact the office: https://form.jotform.com/213006331361137.


The gathering will encompass not only sharing a meal but also creative interaction, decking the halls for the arrival of advent, and packing meal kits for our Highland Elementary Thanksgiving Meal Project.

Since the event is outdoors, participants will not be required to wear masks outside. However, each person will be required to wear a mask around the food tables and enter inside. Additionally, we welcome any participant to wear a mask at all times if that is what they are most comfortable with.


We hope you will make plans to make your presence a gift to the wholeness of our faith community.