TRENTON, NJ (November 12, 2019) – For seventy years, Princeton has been host to the Community Thanksgiving Worship Service, a tradition open to all members of the community on a day meant to celebrate gratitude and give thanks.
Each year, Rev. Alison L. Boden, Ph.D.—Dean of Religious Life and of the Chapel at Princeton University—opens the Service with a welcome. Rev. Boden shares, “This service is such a treasured annual event, a time for members and friends of every house of worship in our community to come together and share in our gratitude for all that we have. The support of our religious communities for one another is felt so strongly during this service. It is truly one of the great strengths of Princeton.”
This year, the Service is scheduled for Thanksgiving Day from 11 am – 12 pm at Princeton University Chapel and once again features a Thanksgiving message from Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert. “I invite everyone to attend [the] Service,” Mayor Lempert says. “It’s a wonderful opportunity to come together with friends and neighbors, to share in a moment of quiet reflection, and to help ensure that no one in our town goes hungry over the holidays.”
Lempert is referring to the food drive benefitting Arm In Arm that the Chapel runs leading up to and concurrently with the service. It’s another tradition—this one aimed at maintaining a strong sense of togetherness and creating a thriving community for all. Attendees are urged to bring nonperishable canned or boxed food with them to the service. Pastor Dave A. Davis of Nassau Presbyterian Church, a founding church of Arm In Arm (formerly The Crisis Ministry), expresses how important this piece of the Service has become: “The members of the Princeton Clergy Association are grateful for the years of partnership with Arm in Arm in our community. From their office in the lower level of Nassau Presbyterian Church, Arm In Arm…serves almost 200 families a month.”
Rev. Davis continues, “Arm In Arm has been a reliable resource for our faith leaders to refer those in need both in our congregations and those who come to us seeking help. Together with municipal offices and other nonprofit organizations, Arm In Arm has created an invaluable network of care that mirrors the commitment of care, support, and hospitality that is so much a part of the wider Princeton community.”
Arm In Arm would like to offer a special thank you to the Worship Planning Committee for all their coordination and support:
Julia Coale, Nassau Presbyterian Church
Faith Congers, Princeton University Chapel
Sara Just, The Jewish Center
Rev. Bill Neely, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton
Alison Politziner, The Jewish Center
Eberhard Wunderlich, Princeton Bahá’í Community
About the Community Thanksgiving Worship Service
Clergy and Faith Leaders from around Princeton will lead the service. University organist Eric Plutz will play a prelude and postlude and will lead the congregation in hymn singing. Featured musicians will include hand bell ringer Hyosang Park from the Princeton United Methodist Church and musicians from The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton. The service is dedicated to the memory of Beverly Owens, the former Director of Music at Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church. In addition to the food drive, monetary offerings collected at the service will support the Interfaith Chaplaincy at Penn Medicine Princeton Health.
About Arm In Arm
For nearly four decades Mercer County families have turned to Arm In Arm for essential resources like food and financial support. Formerly known as The Crisis Ministry, Arm In Arm was founded in 1980 by leaders of Nassau Presbyterian Church and Trinity Church in Princeton to help community members who were struggling financially. Today twenty staff members and hundreds of volunteers welcome more than 4,000 families to our food pantries, work with 600 at-risk families to prevent or end homelessness, and offer on-the-job training and job search mentoring every year. Arm In Arm believes it takes our whole community to ensure that everyone thrives—and when everyone is thriving, we all benefit. Learn more at www.arminarm.org.