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The fellowship hall at the Lafayette Church of Christ will be used for a Thanksgiving meal Wednesday.

The Lafayette Church of Christ is doing something new and different to help out in the community during Thanksgiving this year.

The church is set to host its first Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 24 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“This is actually our first attempt at it, and it’s pretty exciting,” Pastor Cameron Miller said. “We took some inspiration from the Red Boiling Springs Church of Christ. They have a similar meal that they put on in their community. Our elders took a look and noticed that our community over here in Lafayette had a lot of the same needs. So we wanted to just give people an opportunity.”

The church bantered about what the meal would entail, and then decided to make it all encompassing for anyone who wanted to come to share some Thanksgiving food and fellowship.

“A lot of different ideas got tossed around. They said, ‘Well, it would be good for people in need that maybe can’t afford a Thanksgiving meal,’ ” Miller said. “And then we thought that it might be good for those that don’t have much family left or don’t have family events planned to still be able to share Thanksgiving.

It just kept snowballing, and I think we eventually got to the point where it not going to be any one of those things, but for all of them and for the entirety of the community to just come together for us to be able to share out thankfulness with one another.”

The church has all elements involved with the event, including the van and bus ministry to help bring shut-ins who might not have transportation.

“We also have our bus and our van, which our bus is handicap accessible. It has a wheelchair lift. We have our van as well that we will be sending out. If they want transportation, then we will need for them to call ahead,” Miller said.

Guests were allowed to come anytime between 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and the church hopes to use the event as an opportunity not only to reach out to those in need.

“We want to make it as convenient for people as possible. We know that not everybody’s schedule works out the exact same,” the pastor said.

This is also a chance for the church to minister to people and hopefully create relationships with them going forward

“I know we have different teams that have been put on food and different teams that have been put on putting little thank you bags for all the visitors that come through, and other individuals have been put on driving the buses to get people that don’t have transportation up here if they want to come, and even some that have been put on connecting with visitors and getting visitor cards filled out and being able to create some relationship with some of these people,” Miller said.

Miller invites the community to attend. Individuals who need to call ahead or have questions, can contact the church at 615-666-2003 or they can arrive in-person. Miller isn’t quite sure how many people would attend, but is eager to grow the event into a community-wide festivity.

“I guess it’s kind of hard just posting on social media and being in the newspaper and what not to be able to gauge [participation], but I know that within the congregation it is something that has been taken really well, as far as the number of people that have asked to help and volunteered,” he said. “As far as our standpoint as a congregation, I think we’re going to have a good number, even if it’s just our own people. But that’s not the goal of it. That’s not what it’s intended for. We want to grow it into something we can share with the community and with the people of Lafayette.”

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