The Feast is Back

Elwood (left), Nolan and Mara Flesner were big fans of this year’s Tracy Alliance Church Community Thanksgiving Feast on Thanksgiving Day. Photos / Per Peterson

Much to the delight of its members, Tracy Alliance Church once again opened its doors to the community for its Thanksgiving meal.

By Per Peterson

Even before one entered Tracy Alliance Church on Thursday, it was easy to tell what was going on inside.

With the aroma from the kitchen permeating every nook and cranny of the church — and even wafting outside on a cool Thanksgiving morning — it was clear that the Thanksgiving Feast was back.

“You know, COVID is kind of a wilderness, there are so many things going on,” Doug Zeug said. “It’s good to be able to offer this again. Our gratitude first of all is to the Lord Jesus Christ and it’s wonderful to be able to do this in his name on this holiday and contribute to everyone’s experience.”

However, it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that the feast would return this year. Pastor Thor Burntvedt said that as recent as a month ago, many in the church community were getting sick with a cold and flu and a couple had come down with the virus.

“We were starting to worry if we were going to have to cancel again,” Burntvedt said. “We prayed really hard about a month ago, and all the cases cleared up. All the families that were sick are all back in church. We’ve been praying for about a month now that God would give us this opportunity to come together and that everybody would be healthy by Thanksgiving.”

Burntvedt said while many church members felt frustration last year, they were also saddened by not being able to attend church in person and losing events like the Thanksgiving Feast.

“We look forward to this opportunity to come together and to serve others, and to not be able to do that was just sad,” he said. “Missed opportunity.”

Church members showed up early last Thursday, hitting the kitchen to prepare the meal. From Zeug keeping an eye on turkey preparation, to Rick Haberman manning the stuffing station, everyone chipped in.

“The wheels have been turning for several weeks, but some of the food started several days ago,” Burntvedt said. “Food Pride let us use their ovens — we can’t do six turkeys in just our two ovens. They let us refrigerate them there, too. And there’s definitely people in our church who are heavy-hitters that do a lot of the work.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.