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Date of Issue: March 17, 2005

Big Thanksgiving for body and soul

There are big doings for the spirit and the stomach on the Islands this Thanksgiving time, with community services to give thanks for what we have and community dinners at some churches. Even a Holiday Prelude, music and all.

The annual All Islands Denominations service of thanksgiving will be Thanksgiving eve, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 26, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church. On Longboat Key, the interfaith service will be at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, at Temple Beth Israel.

It will be dinner time for many in the community at two churches Island Baptist, 8605 Gulf Drive, Anna Maria, at 1 p.m. and Roser Memorial Community Church, 512 Pine Ave., Anna Maria, at 2 p.m. These turkey-and-trimmings feasts are designed to provide "family" for people who want to share time with others, and are open free to all. The churches ask only that anyone wishing to attend let them know in advance, Island Baptist at 778-0719, and Roser at 778-0414.

All of the Island's churches are participating in the Wednesday evening ecumenical service sponsored by AID, made up of all of the Island's churches.

It will begin at 7 p.m. at Gloria Dei, 6608 Marina Drive, Anna Maria, and include special contributions by each church, plus music by the combined choirs of all the churches.

The Rev. Dan Kilts of Gloria Dei will welcome the worshipers to his church and give the benediction.

The Rev. Dale Lawson, pastor of Island Baptist Church, will deliver the opening call to worship and offer the prayer of the day.

Heather Hill of the First Church of Christ Scientist will give the first lesson and the Rev. Gary Baty of Roser will bring the second lesson and Psalms.

The Rev. William Grossman of Harvey Memorial Community Church in Bradenton Beach will read the Gospel.

The Rev. Harry Parsell, rector of the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation will deliver the sermon.

The Rev. John Ellis of St. Bernard Catholic Church will lead the closing prayer and the Lord's Prayer.

Carl Parks, Gloria Dei's choir director and organist, will direct the assembled choirs in song and the Gloria Dei handbell choir will play directed by Paulette Kilts.

The Longboat interfaith service Tuesday evening will be at Temple Beth Israel, 567 Bay Isles Road. Participating will be the Rev. Downs Spitler of All Angels Episcopal Church; the Rev. Edward Pick, St. Mary's Star of the Sea Catholic Church; the Rev. Eric Wogen, St. Armands Key Lutheran Church; the Rev. Kenneth Gill, Longboat Island Chapel; and the Rev. Jerry O'Connor, Plymouth Harbor chaplain.

With all of the Island's churches participating in the AID service the night before Thanksgiving Day, some will still make special note on the big day: The Church of the Annunciation, 4408 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach, will have Holy Eucharist ceremony at 9:30 a.m.

First Church of Christ Scientist, 6300 Marina Drive, Anna Maria, plans a special time for people to stand and give thanks during the 10:30 a.m. service.

Gloria Dei will have a Holy Communion service at 9:30 a.m., along with choir music.

Roser's dinner will be preceded by Communion in the chapel at 10 a.m.

The Holiday Prelude is an annual festival on Thanksgiving evening on Bridge Street in Bradenton Beach. The popular concert fills the street and more persons attend each year, said the sponsoring Legacy III.

It will begin at 6 p.m. in front of the clock tower at the east end of historic Bridge Street. Those attending are advised to bring their own chairs to "sit in the street and listen to the sounds of Christmas."