The Thanksgiving Ebenezer Service at Chapel Hill

The Thanksgiving Ebenezer Service at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church was a simple service on Thanksgiving Day. We had a large stone which we placed in the center of chairs arranged in several concentric rings, with passage ways to enable people to get up and approach the stone. The homily was kept fairly brief - I used a variety of mediatations from the Patriarchs, Samuel or David. We gathered at 10 A.M. The service gave people an opportunity to share testimonies of thankfulness while placing representative objects alongside the stone. Listening to others share thanksgivings helped us recall the many blessings we had each received. Children participated too.

For a variation on the service, I have thought a box of river or beach stones could be placed by the door and each worshipper could take one as they arrive, to place with their verbal thanksgiving around the larger stone.

Order of Service

Reflection: Habakkuk 3:17-19 (or Psalm 105:1-3)

Hymn: We Gather Together to Ask the Lord's Blessing

Call to Thanksgiving: Colossians 3:15-17 (or Ephesians 5:18b-20)

Responsive Reading: One of the Hallel Psalms Such as 145 or 147

Homily: Why an Ebenezer? (or see below)

Hymn: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

Raising our Stone of Help to the Lord

Hymn O Let Your Soul be Filled with Gladness

Not unto us, Oh Lord, Not to us,
But to your name be the Glory
Because of Your Love and Faithfulness

Song of Praise: Give Thanks with a Joyful Heart

Give thanks with a grateful heart,
Give thanks to the Holy One;
Give thanks because He's given Jesus Christ, His Son. (repeat)
And now let the weak say, "I am Strong,"
Let the poor say, "I am rich"
Because of what the Lord has done ... for us.


Bulletin 1999 - Bulletin 2003

Some possible homilies:

A few more homily ideas:

Hypertext version by Barry McWilliams
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