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Eastern Christian Elementary School’s second grade class led a Thanksgiving chapel on Tuesday, November 20. The second graders opened chapel sharing how thankful they are that God has blessed us, and expressing their gratitude for our school, families, and friends. After sharing what they were thankful for, they then took the audience on a journey around the world, and how other countries or continents celebrate their own Thanksgivings.

Canada was the first stop on their journey around the world. Canada celebrates Thanksgiving on the second Monday of October. The first Canadian Thanksgiving was held in 1578 and was the way that early settlers celebrated their appreciation for the fruits of a successful harvest. The second graders made a special point to honor Mr. Rob Flim who comes from Canada and prefers lasagna for his Thanksgiving meal.

The second graders continued from Canada across the Atlantic Ocean to the content of Africa to share how many countries celebrate the Festival of Yams. Yams are one of the most common foods in Africa and among the first to be harvested. Their festival is filled with days of ceremonies and offerings to God, as well as a time of rejoicing and praying for a bountiful harvest.

The second graders then led the chapel in a journey north to Germany where they celebrate Thanksgiving on the first Sunday in October. They spend time in church in the morning, and return to church in the evening to sing praises to God. After the evening church service, there is a lantern and torch parade, followed by fireworks lighting up the sky. Many Germans donate their unused or leftover food to those less fortunate, allowing them to celebrate with delicious food they may not be able to afford.

The second graders returned us to the United States to share how we celebrate Thanksgiving on the third Thursday of November. Thanksgiving was first celebrated 1621 and was called Harvest Home. The feast lasted for three days and included singing, dancing, and games.

Our school’s spiritual theme this year is called Name Above All Names, and allows students to learn the many names of God and have a better understanding of His power and grace. The second graders closed the chapel by referencing the names of God they have learned in the chapel services up to this point to share how they are thankful for all that He is:

  • Elohim means “Creator.” They are so thankful for the beautiful earth that God has created and trusted us to take care of.
  • Jehovah Jireh means “God, the Provider.” They are thankful that God provides us with everything that we need.
  • El-Roi means “The Strong One who Sees.” They are thankful for the fact that God is always there to see us and He hears us when we cry out to Him.
  • Yahweh-Shalom means “The God of Peace.” They are thankful that God is our peace in the storm. He is our shelter and shield.
  • Yahwah-Shammah means “The Lord is Present.” They are thankful that He is always with us and never leaves us alone.

This year’s elementary school Thanksgiving chapel was wonderfully planned and allowed all of the audience members to gain a deeper perspective on why we should be thankful for all that God has done for us. As you enter Thanksgiving with your families and friends, remember that God has given us tremendous blessings. We wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!

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