Grace United Methodist Church in Brunswick celebrated a special harvest worship service on Sunday, Nov. 20. The idea was an inspiration of Mrs. Gloria Lawrence, worship chairperson, and Rev. Cleo M. Gilchrist, pastor of Grace UMC.
“God did it for us," said Rev. Gilchrist. "Out of sheer generosity he put us in right standing with himself; a pure gift. He got us out of the mess we’re in and restored us to where he always wanted us to be. And he did it by means of Jesus Christ. You know God awakens an intense longing in our human souls and an equally intense resentment, because the revelation which it brings is not acceptable. There is a certain pride in us that will give and give, but to come and accept is another thing. We are getting this at Grace! We realize that we cannot earn or win anything from God that we must either receive it as a gift or do without it. The greatest blessing we’ve learned spiritually is the knowledge that we are destitute or lacking the necessities of life. Until we got there our Lord was powerless.”
All members in attendance were asked to bring food items to be placed in front of the altar for a time of sharing and receiving. The table upon which the food was placed was decorated with fall items and a large cornucopia, made by Rev. Gilchrist’s sister. The congregation responded with great enthusiasm, and by the time worship began, the table was full of fresh produce, baked goods, and packaged items. The overflow was placed all around the table. Someone even donated a frozen turkey. Prior to the close of service, the ushers directed the entire congregation to come forward and take whatever they desired from the bounty, and Rev. Gilchrist offered a prayer of thanksgiving.
The message of the morning was “Learning to Gratefully Receive” by Rev. Gilchrist. Music was provided by the Men of Grace, led by Leo Moore. Everyone agreed it was truly a blessed and beautiful service.