“The First Thanksgiving”

The first Thanksgiving (on record) happened not hundreds but thousands of years ago. Here’s how it went:
In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:3-7)
One thanksgiving, two men, two offerings, and two totally different reactions. The Lord was looking for both of them to realize who was God and who was not, so He invented the first thanksgiving by asking them to bring an offering to praise Him.
There are many theories behind why God rejected Cain’s offering, but the point is that there was a mind-set problem with him that didn’t set well with the Lord. Abel, however, gave his offering with a grateful heart, which is why God smiled back at him.
This is the time of year where we reflect on life and respond with being thankful, but let’s not forget that God cares very much about the attitude behind the gratitude. So the main question you need to ask yourself is: am I more like Cain, or Abel?
Here’s what Thanksgiving may look like for Cain: He gets up, and is mainly looking forward to completely gorging himself on free food. He is thankful for a few days off from school or work, but mainly because he likes to be lazy. At the table, he wants to be served first, and when it comes time to praise God before the meal, his mind wanders to what is going on with the football game or getting together with friends later.
After the meal, his family gathers to have a time of sharing about things for which they are thankful. He is annoyed that he’s stuck with a family that must do such cheesy things, and wishes he didn’t have to follow any rules. Eventually the day ends, and finally he utters a quick prayer to God, thanking Him for … what was it again? Oh yeah, all the stuff he has.
That kind of thanksgiving is like wax fruit in a bowl. It looks real on the outside, but in reality it is fake and useless, and that is a good reason for God to reject it.
Abel on the other hand, remembers that even the very air he breathes is a gift from God. He knows that if there is anything good in his life, it is directly from the hand of God. So his focus this weekend is to take the energy he would normally devote to school and/or work, and direct it towards thanking God and serving others. So, he is quick to help set the table and clean up afterwards, he is intentional in listening to others, and actively participates in the family traditions. At the end of the day he makes a list of all the blessings of God and thanks Jesus for every one of them.
Heartfelt thankfulness has an amazing effect. It gives us hope, as it turns our focus from self to the giver of all good things the Lord God Almighty.
Grace & Peace,
Pastor Bob

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Small Groups

Sunday School. Sunday mornings 9:00 AM. Any one willing to volunteer as a sub please email Robin Stolarcyk. Open to all youth pre-k through high school. Please contact Robin Stolarcyk for more information. (Contact the church office for Robin’s email address)

Christian Fellowship Class. Sunday mornings 9:00 AM.  Please join us. Please contact Shirley Prentice for more information.

Pastor’s Study & Prayer Group: Sunday mornings 11:30 AM, Room B6. Everyone is welcome to join. Questions contact Pastor Bob (910) 260-0551 or 648-4326. No Class 4th Sunday, join us for Pot Luck Luncheon in fellowship hall.

Youth Group meetings, 1st & 3rd Sunday evening of each month at 6:00 – 7:30 PM in the Loft. All youth 5th – 12th Grade are invited to attend. Please contact: President: Mason Stolarcyk, 743-0545 or Pastor Bob (910) 260-0551 for more information.

Unity Circle: Ladies Group, 2nd Monday of every month 11:00 AM. All ladies are invited to join. Contact Bev Hamm for more information. (Some dates the ladies have luncheon’s instead so check with Bev if you are interested in joining.) No meetings in January, February, July & August.

Ladies Monday Night Book Study: Monday evenings 6:30-7:30, Room B4 (Disciple Room). All ladies are welcome! Contact Karen MacKenzie if interested.

Rachel Circle: Ladies Group: 3rd Tuesday of every month 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM in the Frazer Room (B18). All ladies are invited to join. No Meetings in July & August. Contact Marita Root  for more information.

Women’s Book Study Group, Tuesday’s at 12:45, Disciple Room (B4). A time of Bible Study, friendship, good food, & great conversation. Contact Carol Krizan 648-4353 for more information. All women are welcome to join!

Knitting for the Lord: Tuesday, evenings, 6:00 – 7:00 PM, Room B2. Prayer shawls are available for those in need. Please contact Sue or Lynne if you know of someone in need. Contact Sue Alcott or Lynne Masland for more information & for summer meeting places & times. 

Choir: Thursdays 4:00 – 5:00 PM. Everyone is welcome to join. Contact Carla Fako for more information. No meetings after memorial day for the summer.

Note: If you need contact information for any of the leaders above, please contact the church office at or 607-648-4339.

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Chenango Bridge UMC Charge Conference: November 16th 10:00 AM—12:00 PM. All are invited  encouraged to attend!

November Mission Project, Thanksgiving Bags: Collection for Thanksgiving bags to help feed the needy. We are also accepting monetary donations for the Thanksgiving bags for turkey gift cards. Gift cards are in multiples of ten only. Please mark your check memo as Thanksgiving Baskets. Bags & donations are Due By November 24, 2019. 

Thanksgiving Ecumenical Service at Nimmonsburg United Methodist Church on Sunday, November 24th at 5:00 PM, 918 Upper Front St., Binghamton, NY 13905. All are welcome. Please join us to give thanks to God!

Christmas Cookie Sale will take place on December 7th. We will start a contribution list this week. Please contact Marilyn Cline if you are able to donate some cookies.

Senior Citizens Bill Gaither Concert trip, Saturday, Dec. 14th. Leaving Town of Chenango Parking Lot 1:30 PM, will stop at Binghams Restaurant for a meal. The concert will start at 6 PM ends approximately 8 PM then leave for home. $95.00, Everything is included. Contact Marilyn Cline for more information or for your ticket.

CB Civic Association will be selling luminaries in front of our church on Dec. 14th, 10 AM – 2 PM. The kits are $5 and there are 10 sets in each bag. Contact Chelsie Johnson for more info Thank you for your support for the community programs the Civic Association provides for our children.

Event for Night to Shine. Gift wrapping at Barnes and Noble on Thursday, December 19th 8:00AM – 10:00PM. We are looking for volunteers to help us wrap. Peggy will have a sign up sheet after church or you may contact Peggy Vavrina.

Church Women United, Home for the Holidays: CWU’s Chrismon Tree will be on display at Roberson Museum throughout the Holiday Season. Chairpersons: Karen Holman & Sharon Kopalek.

Woman Of Faith conference: Would you like to attend? Fri. May 29th-Sat. May 30th 2020 @ Clarke Summit University called LYFE (Living Your Faith Everyday)! Includes workshops, music, & speaker Sheila Walsh! Topic: Incomplete & It’s Okay; Speaker: Sheila Walsh; Cost: $155 includes overnight stay & all meals. Contact Michelle Stoll for more info. Continue reading

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