Ten years ago, volunteers including organizers Gary and Christine Griffin held the first community Thanksgiving dinner at the Mountainview Church in Pine Bush.
“Folks roast turkeys at home and bring it to us to serve. Some people make stuffing, others bring desserts, and we have a group who make the mashed potatoes and green bean casserole here (in the memorial hall kitchen) on the day of the event. About 25 people total probably help prepare and cook food. We also have the scouts come to help serve,” explained Christine Griffin who is also the church secretary.
Pastor Greg Higgins shared, “This is my second annual community Thanksgiving dinner here and it is a great turnout. I really enjoy the fellowship; neighborhood people enjoying a meal together, especially when some may otherwise have their meal alone. It’s great for them to participate in conversation and I’m very happy to have the scouts here to help with serving and cleaning up. We have other community events coming up like our youth holiday ornament making, the Cookie Walk on December 14 and our live nativity on December 21. The details are on our website themountainviewumc.org.”
The room buzzed with conversation, laughter occasionally rose up over the din, while food was plated by volunteers then brought to everyone individually by the scouts. Pitchers of gravy were placed on each table.
Co-organizer Gary Griffin said “I think serving people is the best part - volunteerism. Especially for those who may not have this kind of meal on their own.”
Pam Greening and retired Pine Bush High School nurse, Madeline Glass, ensured the desserts were sliced and ready for all to enjoy. Glass and her husband, retired Pine Bush teacher, Fred, have been parishioners of Mountainview Church for many years and agree they enjoy the gathering of the people, “Just like Thanksgiving,” said Madeline.
As is the way in homes filled with friends and family, some sat together while others greeted and chatted with others. Bobby Ewald of Pine Bush took a moment to share some Eagle Scout project ideas with Assistant Cubmaster David Broadwell.
First time attendee Addie Speranza said, “This was my first time attending the community dinner and I thought it was just excellent.”
Approximately 150 meals were served on Saturday, and in addition, some were packed up for those who could not attend in person. As the boxed meals were made up, rich brown gravy was streamed over the potatoes and meat.
Who makes the gravy?
“I’m not sure I should share this,” said Ingrid Kolze, “but the people who roast the turkey each bring a batch of gravy as well. We take all of the gravy and mix it all together in one big pot and serve it to everyone.”
Community gravy made with thankfulness to be shared freely with all. Whisk together a dash of kindness, a pinch of helping others, and a cup of gratitude for the best gravy recipe.