“O my Gosh, we’re out of turkey” Stuart yells from the kitchen. The statement puts a quick stop to the action in the church basement where moments before a clamor of zip-lock baggies, packets of mayonnaise, pumpkin pie bars and mischievious holiday cheer seemed unstoppable. Everyone pauses but the children who, unaware of the work stoppage continue to slap “It sucks you have to work on Thanksgiving. Operation: Turkey Sandwich, brought to you by House for All Sinners and Saints.” stickers paper lunch sack after paper lunch sack.
It’s our second year doing this; bringing Thanksgiving lunches to unsuspecting folks all over our city who are unlucky enough to have to work on a holiday when most of the rest of us get to be with friends and family. Our sack lunches mirror the traditional Thanksgiving meal: sandwiches made from freshly roasted turkeys, pumpkin pie bars and stuffing muffins (all accompanied by salt, pepper, mayonnaise and mustard packets and a napkin). After assembling the 300 bags we load them into our cars and disperse to find any gas station cashiers, security guards, bartenders, bus drivers or hospital janitors we can track down. Hopping out our cars we hand them these little gifts saying “Sorry you have to work on Thanksgiving” jump back in our cars and try and find the next victim. And it’s not just the “members” of House for All who are involved. The local newspaper listed OTS as an alternative idea for how to spend Thanksgiving and we were inundated with people wanting to participate. So we welcomed so-called strangers into the life of our church to make some food, assemble some bags and distribute some joy for no reason other than the gifts of God are free and for all. And the only other reason we have for doing any of this is "why wouldn't we?". Well, that and it's just really, really fun.