(November 18, 2022) Churches in Berlin and Ocean City will again offer free Thanksgiving meals this year, while a few others will present holiday services.
Berlin’s First Baptist Church, located at 613 Williams Street, will offer a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, including turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, cranberry sauce and dessert, for the 33rd year of 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We’re looking forward to it,” said Shannon Diehl, who helps with the church’s children’s ministry. Her husband, Brad, has pastored the church for nine years.
Last year, the Berlin church provided just over 400 meals. Most were takeout, but some people ate in church.
Food was also delivered to those locked down and people working during the holidays, including those of the Berlin police and fire brigade as well as the Berlin retirement home.
To reserve a takeout meal or dine in, call the church at 410-641-4306. Leave a voicemail and someone from the church will call you back.
“It helps if they call us and let us know, but we always have enough. We prepare 500 meals. We never missed,” Diehl said. “If they’ll be alone at Thanksgiving, we’d love to have them.”
Church members will prepare dinner. About 30 volunteers usually help out on Thanksgiving Day. Those interested in helping should call the church and leave a message.
“We can always use volunteers,” Diehl said.
In addition, a new blessing box will be installed in front of the church.
” We are pleased. Hopefully we can continue to feed the community after Thanksgiving,” Diehl said. “The goal is to open up and get ready for Thanksgiving.”
The blessing box will be filled with canned food, canned food, hygiene products and cold weather gear such as hats and gloves.
“People can give or take what they need,” Diehl said. “It will be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s something they can come all the time.
Ocean City Baptist Church will host its 43rd annual free Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 24 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The church is located at 102 North Division Street in downtown Ocean City, adjacent to 7-11.
Anyone looking for a home-cooked Thanksgiving meal is invited.
“On Thanksgiving you should be with family, and if you don’t have anyone, come be part of our family,” Pastor Sean Davis said. “I see it as an extended family to me. It’s a family vacation and what we always promote is “you shouldn’t be alone on Thanksgiving”. We would love to have you. It’s a good time. It really is.”
The men and women of the church and the community will prepare and serve the meal.
The menu includes turkey, stuffing, gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, cranberry sauce, rolls and various pies.
Davis said last year about 550 dinners were served. About 150 meals were provided for guests dining at the church, 150 dinners were taken away, and the rest were delivered.
“We expect a big increase this year, by the calls we receive. We are preparing for it,” Davis said. “We’ll probably serve about 600 this year.”
Donations are always accepted. While food is being taken care of, monetary donations will be used to help offset costs.
Davis’ father, Terry, the church’s pastor for 31 years, came up with the idea for the dinner because “no one should be alone on Thanksgiving,” Sean said.
Sean Davis grew up in church and became a pastor in 2010. He wanted to carry on the Thanksgiving tradition after his father retired.
Call Ocean City Baptist Church at 410-289-4054 for more information or to RSVP for dinner, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, or register online at OCBaptist.com.
Those interested in volunteering can call or register online for different time slots.
“We usually have 60 to 70 volunteers that day. They serve food and clean and sit and hang out with others,” Davis said.
Volunteers will also bring dinner to those locked up. Call and provide the location of someone who needs dinner in Ocean City or West Ocean City, and it will be delivered to them.
Volunteers will also deliver dinner to first responders from the Ocean City Police and Fire Department, as well as public works employees and others working at area businesses that day.
“We’ll deliver meals to them if we know they’re open,” Davis said.
The Interfaith Friendship Association will hold its second annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Ocean Pines Community Church on Sunday, November 20 at 7 p.m.
The association is asking for donations to be made to the service, which was attended by around 150 guests last year.
Non-perishable food items will be featured at Diakonia in West Ocean City, an organization that assists individuals and families by providing shelter, food, clothing and program services.
Articles for pregnant women and new mothers are accepted for the Grace Center for Maternal and Women’s Health in Berlin.
“Grace Center provides customers who need help with new baby clothes, car seats, diapers, formula and many other items. All of our services are provided free of charge through donations and fundraising events,” said Grace Center Executive Director Joann Manole. “The Grace Center provides vital services to women and families in the community. Our clinical team offers pregnant women limited ultrasound scans, prenatal education, parenting classes, postpartum home visits, home newborn care classes, and breastfeeding support. Additionally, we offer a variety of support groups that use trauma-informed approaches, including addictions, new mothers, postpartum depression, and anxiety. We connect clients with needed resources such as Medicaid, housing assistance, and access to education and job training.
Manole provided a list of needed items, which includes diapers, diaper cream and bags, A&D ointment, bibs, storybooks for 0-3 year olds, lotion for baby and bath towels, Boppi pillows, nursing pillows and cottons, breast pumps, plastic Avent bottles/teats, infant car seats, pacifiers, Johnson’s Head to Toe shampoo, sleepers, bags sleeping bags, swaddling blankets, digital thermometers and Visa gift cards.
The mission and purpose of the Interfaith Friendship Association is “to teach that there is much more that unites us than separates us, and that each person, regardless of background or particular faith , can unite in the worship of God and offer thanks and praise. Additionally, the Interfaith Friendship Association will speak out and call on the community to work for a time and a world of justice and peace.
For more information, call Rabbi Arthur Rutberg at Temple Bat Yam at 410-251-6366.
The Ocean City Christian Ministers Association will present a Thanksgiving service, Sunday, November 20, at 7 p.m. at Son’Spot Ministries at 12 Worcester Street.
The service will include praise, worship, songs, hymns, Thanksgiving testimonies and a brief message.
Guests are asked to bring packaged food items, paper goods and offering funds, which will be used to help those in need in the community.
There will be dessert and fellowship after the service.
Call 410-289-1296 for more information.