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Memorial Road seeks student participation

Friday, November 16, 2007  
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By Sarah Gogarty

For the last five years, Memorial Road Church of Christ has put on an event which allows its members to get involved in serving others on Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving Day in the City is a way for people to get connected.

Memorial Road Church member and Dean of Students Neil Arter has been involved in different parts of organizing, making and delivering food to families that would not otherwise have a special Thanksgiving.

“I’m excited about the people that get to help. They get as much out of it as the people who enjoy the food,” Arter said.

Memorial Road uses all four of the church’s kitchens and some members’ home kitchens to cook all of the food needed for the event.

Last Thanksgiving Day in the City, 848 meals were prepared, and there were about 300 volunteers who helped make and deliver the food. Some cooking starts the night before, but the majority is prepared and given out on Thanksgiving Day.

“I’m thinking we will have about 250 to 300 [people] help this year and hope to prepare 900 meals,” Arter said. “We have a few more people involved in organizing it this year. The past couple of years, it has been a smaller group, and we are trying to expand that a little bit, so that it is not so reliant on just the one couple.”

Thanksgiving Day in the City volunteers not only make and deliver the food, but also take time to go into the homes of those receiving food to talk and begin forming relationships with them.

Sophomore John Bernard believes this is a project in which Christians should try to be involved.

“I think this is a great chance to involve ourselves with others who don’t get the chance for a big meal,” Bernard said. “If we really want to live out our Christianity, then we need to be relational with people, and this is a very good start, love is an action.”

Memorial Road Church is reaching out to Oklahoma Christian students who will be on campus during break and encouraging them to get involved and help.

There will be plenty of tasks for anyone who wants to help.

Freshman Bryan Willis feels it is important to fellowship and give on Thanksgiving.

“Thanksgiving is not Thanksgiving without other people,” Willis said. “I think it is one of the greatest days of the year to help someone else, to provide positive memories that can last.”

At lunch time, volunteers and students are welcome to meet in the Fellowship Room at Memorial Road Church for a meal.

“We would really recommend to anyone, even if you have a great family tradition going on, to be involved. You might be surprised how well you would enjoy this. It is pretty special.” Arter said.

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