Community Enjoys Thanksgiving in Hayden Lake

February 01, 2017 | Loren Starr

The community service department of the Hayden Lake Church in Hayden, Idaho, held its annual Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016. All those who had received help from community services during the year were invited to attend.

Also in attendance was a generous segment of church members to visit with community guests. Leading in planning the event was Rosemarie Shevitz, Hayden Lake Church community services director, supported by a team of church members echoing her passion to serve others by providing this special holiday meal.

As 6 o'clock approached on the appointed Sunday, there was a final whirlwind of activity in the kitchen and dining room as seniors and teens alike put finishing touches on the meal. About 130 peoople were served by a half-dozen smiling servers wearing aprons inscribed with the motto "giving hope to one person at a time."

Chuck Stilwell, Hayden Lake Church personal ministries director, gave his own testimony of how God lovingly brought him back to church and totally changed his life. Guests were invited to share what they were thankful for.

One person shared how God had led in her life, and another expressed gratitude for help received with major medical expenses.

Community services is open to the community every Tuesday. Eight or more staff members open the doors at 12:30 p.m. to start the weekly program with registration, devotions and Bible study, which many of the guests come each week to enjoy, as well as the hot meal. It is the staff’s main focus to listen to the issues people are facing in their lives in order to provide encouragement, practical help and spiritual nurture. Nonperishable food and clothing are provided as needed.

"Win their confidence, build relationships, meet their needs and be a friend" is the motto Shevitz and her team espouse. Shevitz believes everyone can share the blessings God has given them — like the kindness, love and encouragement many may lack in their lives. She believes “people are looking for a practical religion. Unless they see the practical application of Bible principles fulfilled in our lives, they don’t want to hear about our religion.”