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Thanksgiving will be a day of sharing and community outreach

By Staff | Nov 22, 2010

Organizers of Friends Church are busy planning a free Thanksgiving dinner for area residents at the Hughesville Camp. L to R: Candy Nearhoof, Pastor JR Heddings, Marty Gatz, Barb Gatz and granddaughters, Alaina and Olivia Brown, and Dan Frycklund.

HUGHESVILLE – With a big heart and a whole lot of faith, a devoted group of organizers from Friends Church and the Hughesville Camp are organizing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at no cost for area residents who have no place to go for the holiday.

“Everyone is welcome,” said outreach pastor, JR Heddings from Hughesville. Two organizations are working together to organize the holiday dinner which will be served from noon to 4 on Thanksgiving Day. “Those who need a place to come to be around people are welcome,” said Heddings. These two ministries have been working together since the early 1900’s when camp revival meetings were started at the Hughesville Camp.

Dan Fryckland from Hughesville has been busy figuring out costs and how much food to purchase for the meal which will be traditional fixings that include candied sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, and cranberries. He is planning on purchasing ten 20 lb. turkeys. Ladies from various churches in the area will be donating home made baked pies for dessert.

Letters from the outreach commission of the Hughesville Friends Church went out to area grocery stores and were hand delivered by Candy Nearhoof for donations. They gave her gift cards to purchase the turkeys. Marty and Barb Gatz are busy cleaning and setting up the dining hall at the Hughesville Camp so the group can start roasting the turkeys at 6 a.m. in the commercial kitchen. The meal will be served family style and enough food is being prepared to accommodate 200 people. The dining hall can seat up to 100 people at once according to Marty Gatz.

“There is a real need out there,” said Nearhoof who is also one of the main coordinators for Angel Food Ministries, an outreach service program that is part of Friends Church. The group decided to plan a free Thanksgiving meal for the community about a month ago during their regular council meeting held the third Thursday of every month. “We are hoping to do this year after year,” replied Pastor Heddings. “We talked about doing this for the last 3 or 4 years,” said Barb Gatz.

The dinner will be held at the Hughesville Camp located at 199 Race Street. “Takeouts will be available if people cannot make it out to come to the camp,” added Pastor Heddings. An order can be placed by calling 570-916-9329 and it will be delivered to “shut-ins” in the Hughesville and Picture Rocks area. About 20 volunteers are expected to come and help serve the meal.

For more information about Friends Church and their services, visit their new website at www.hughesvillefriends.org or call 584-2686.