Ocean City Today

Thanksgiving at the beach

By Kara Hallissey | Nov 16, 2017
Courtesy of: Sean Davis Ocean City Baptist Church volunteers serve Thanksgiving dinner at the North Division Street parish last year. All are invited to attend on Thursday, Nov. 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(Nov. 17, 2017) Join community members in celebrating Thanksgiving with a free meal and fellowship at two local churches next week.

For the 39th year, the Ocean City Baptist Church will host its annual Thanksgiving dinner at the North Division Street parish from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Members of the church and community volunteers prepare and serve dinner which includes turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, string beans, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, coffee, tea and rolls. There will be a variety of baked goods including cookies and cherry pies.

“The whole premise and vision is no one should be alone for Thanksgiving,” said Pastor Sean Davis. “It is a family event. Join ours for the day or bring your own if you don’t want to cook. I always tell summer visitors coming down for Thanksgiving. You are not going to find a better place, and it’s free.”

Volunteers help out throughout the entire process from cooking, setting up and serving food to clean-up duties.

“We usually have anywhere from 50 to 100 volunteers, and 75 is always a good amount,” Davis said. “It takes all of them to make it work and they are a big help.”

Last year, the church provided close to 600 meals with more than 200 people coming in to eat and nearly 350 carrying out.

“If you burned the turkey, come get ours and take it home… we are happy to do that as well,” Davis said.

Guests have the option of dining in, carrying food out or calling in advance for delivery.

Volunteers deliver to the Ocean City Police Department, fire department, Ocean City Coast Guard Station and to local businesses that stay open on Thanksgiving.

“Gather with people in the community,” Davis said. “Too many people are alone during the holidays and the churches work together to make sure that does not happen.”

The Baptist church in downtown Ocean City will offer its Thanksgiving dinner between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23. The festivities will take place at the church, located next to the 7-Eleven at 102 N. Division Street. For those who need their meals delivered to Ocean City or West Ocean City, call 410-289-4054 in advance.

Berlin’s First Baptist Church will offer Thanksgiving dinners for its 31st year on Williams Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“It is an opportunity to interact with the community, particularly with those who don’t have family in the area,” said Sharon Parsons, church officer manager and a Thanksgiving volunteer since 2001. “You can have a meal together on Thanksgiving Day.”

Anywhere from 30-40 volunteers and the church family provide turkeys and side dishes. The traditional dinner includes dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans and cranberry sauce. There will be pies and cookies for dessert, she said.

“The church has been doing it 31 years and I have been volunteering for 16,” Parsons said. “I am blessed by it. People have been calling, saying they want to serve in the same spot as last year. We have a reputation and are doing the Lord’s work, and people want to be a part of it.”

The volunteers cook at their homes or come in to help prepare food before setting up the tables and serving guests in addition to delivering food and cleaning up.

“We are still looking for volunteers if you call a couple of days in advance,” Parsons said.

In 2016, Berlin’s First Baptist Church provided 480 meals and organizers always plan to serve about 500 each year.

About 100 meals were delivered to shut-ins and people working on the holiday including those at police and fire departments and the DaVita Berlin Dialysis Center, where patients are required to have dialysis every day.

Guests can dine-in or carry-out, and the church has already received at least 150 reservations.

Thanksgiving dinner will be offered between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 23 at the church, located at 613 Williams Street in Berlin.

Those who would like to attend should call 410-641-4306 in advance to reserve their seats or carry-out meals. Leave a message after the recording and someone from the church will return the call.

The Holy Savior Church on 17th Street and Philadelphia Avenue will host the Ocean City Christian Ministers Association’s annual community Thanksgiving service on Sunday, Nov. 19, at 7 p.m.

There will be praise, worship songs, hymns, community choir, Thanksgiving testimonies and a brief message. Desserts and fellowship will follow the service.

Guests are asked to bring canned goods, paper products, nonperishable food items or donate funds for the food pantry on Somerset Street. The service is sponsored by all area churches.

For more information, call 410-289-0652.

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