The annual community Thanksgiving church service sponsored by the Hillsboro Area Ministerial Association will be observed at 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18 at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 243 N. High St. in Hillsboro.
The president of the ministerial association, pastor Kimble Zornes of Carpenter’s House of Prayer, said that for the last 25 years, the organization has been presenting two special services per year, one on the Sunday before Thanksgiving and another in spring coinciding with Good Friday and Easter.
He said the services are designed to pull community churches together, give everyone an opportunity to hear a different voice and different preaching style, and to allow a time for fellowship afterwards, since “a lot of the time, we don’t fellowship much between churches.”
“We want to bring together all the churches in the area and break down denominational barriers that can hinder the work of the local church,” Zornes said.
Pastor Jon Coyle of the Hillsboro Church of God said the community service gives all the area churches an opportunity to get involved, and to allow their pastors to be part of a special worship service as well.
“This is a community worship service,” he said. “Different pastors from the area churches will be taking part and leading different parts of the service.”
The evening’s sermon will be delivered by Rev. Clayton Self, the new pastor of the Hillsboro First Baptist Church.
Self took over as pastor on Sept. 30 after coming to Hillsboro from the Seattle area, having served as pastor for 14 years at Faith Fellowship Church in Mill Creek, Wash.
“I guess I drew the honor because I’m the new guy in town,” he said. “I don’t know what I’m going to preach on that night since, as a Baptist, we usually don’t know until the night before.”
He said his sermon may draw from the Gospel of Luke, regarding the account of Jesus healing the 10 lepers, with only one returning to give thanks.
A free-will offering will be collected during the Thanksgiving service, Zornes said, which helps fund a community outreach program the association sponsors.
“The transient fund is designed to help people who are traveling through the area,” he said. “Maybe they’re running low on gas or need an overnight stay, and are short on money, so we have this fund available to help out.”
Another endowment, called the baccalaureate fund, is subsidized from the Good Friday service offering, he said, which high school seniors can use to plan and schedule a baccalaureate program for graduation.
“What we want to do is to reach out to the community and let people know our concerns are for the community as a whole,” he said, “not just our own individual congregations.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.