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Community Thanksgiving service scheduled Nov. 20

At least 16 area churches will come together Nov. 20 for the sixth annual Community Thanksgiving Service at the Van Buren Fine Arts Center.

Fellow Christians will come together from 7 to 8:30 p.m. for an interdenominational night of worship, song and giving thanks. The event is open to the community.

“It’s a time for all the churches to get together in this area and give thanks back to God and worship together,” said Becki Kneeland, welcome minister for Heritage United Methodist Church.

Heritage is organizing the event for the second year in a row, though that responsibility usually changes from year to year, Kneeland said.

Gary Crowder from Van Buren Freewill Baptist will be the guest pastor. Two community mass choirs - one adult, one children - also will perform that evening.

David Tatum from First Baptist Van Buren will direct the adult choir, and the children’s choir will be led by Michael and Kristy Bray from Van Buren Freewill Baptist Church. Chuck King from Heritage is the music coordinator for the event.

“It will be a combination of praise and worship, and traditional hymns,” Kneeland said.

A community offering is taken up each year to be given to a non-profit faith-based organization.

This year, Hearts of Hope Restoration House, a substance abuse treatment center in Van Buren, will be the recipient of the offering, Kneeland said.

At least 16 churches will participate in the Thanksgiving celebration this year, Kneeland said, growing from the five that began the event six years ago.

Large and small area churches of varying Christian denominations will be participating, she said, including Crosspointe Community Church, Butterfield Assembly of God, Rena Valley Christian, The Current and North Park Baptist.

“I think that’s what God intends is for us to be together; to unite us and cross denominational lines,” Kneeland said.

Childcare will be provided for children 4 and under at Heritage, located across the street from the Fine Arts Center. A shuttle service will be provided in the parking lot of the center.

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