Thanksgiving: More than a holiday

First Posted: 11/17/2014

ORANGE — Thanksgiving got started a little early at the Apostolic Faith Tabernacle during a special service called “Church in the Wildwood,” on Saturday, Nov. 15 that included the singing of Southern Gospel songs and a turkey dinner served immediately after.

Pastor Frank Chorba said this is one of two services the church does every year since additions were made to the church building in the early 2000s.

“I think it was in 2002 we built the addition on the back of the church,” said Chorba. “That was the stage and that was when we started having the plays. (The services) we’ve been having twice a year in the spring and the fall, this makes it about 12 years we’ve been doing them.”

Throughout these last 12 years, there has only been one goal in mind for Chorba and those singing their hearts out on the stage.

“Just to spread the gospel,” said Chorba. “Have fellowship through singing and the word of God. New people come, so it’s a good way to advertise that the church is here and spread the gospel. All of the songs are about serving God and being saved and living the life of Christ. The songs are tailored to inspire our faith.”

Among those helping inspire the faith was Emily Spencer, 10, of Shavertown.

Emily sang two songs, “Here I am to Worship,” which she sang by herself and “Mama Fixed a Lunch,” which she sang with her friend Willow Walter, also 10 years old.

Emily has been singing with the Apostolic Faith Tabernacle since she was 2 and has always had fun with it.

“It’s fun,” said Emily. “Some of the songs are easy enough for me to memorize.”

While Emily may have the easy part of memorizing some song lyrics, her mother, Brenda, has a more difficult challenge with the service.

At the conclusion of the service, everyone is welcomed to a special dinner in the church basement, where Brenda is in charge of getting the food prepared and decorating the room.

“It’s a lot of work, but it’s fun because I’m used to it,” said Brenda. “We came up (Friday) and we cooked all the turkeys and pulled them apart, made gravy and got everything ready. We threw a ham in the mix this year, too, just for something extra and then we get all of our desserts made. A few of us each make homemade desserts, and then a couple people do different things, someone makes the mashed potatoes and someone makes the stuffing and pastor makes the corn.”

Brenda has been in charge of the church kitchen for about 14 years making meals and organizing what to cook.

With all the services throughout the years Brenda said it never gets harder, only easier.

“It’s just getting easier because I have a routine,” she said. I always write everything down; I’m very organized. I keep track of everything from year-to-year and I’m just very organized and everything just runs smooth after a while.”

The Thanksgiving service played its part in giving people a chance to exercise their faith, something Chorba said needs to be done these days.

“We live in a difficult time when the world is upset down and on fire and things are difficult and don’t seem to get any better and, according to the Bible, it’s not going to get better, it’s going to get worse,” said Chorba. “We need our faith to be increased, we need the hope, we need something to hope for. That’s what this is all about, to increase our hope. Without hope there is no faith so this is to build up our hope and increase our faith. It’s all about following the commandments of Christ.”

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