What are you thankful for?
Dr. David Russell
Written by members of the Obion County Ministerial Association
In August of 1620, Puritans from England left their homes and comforts to begin a new life in the New World. They boarded two small ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower, to pursue religious freedom in America. Not long after leaving, the Speedwell developed leaks.
Most of her passengers and crew transferred over to the Mayflower before the Speedwell turned back.
A total of 102 Pilgrims suffered through 67 days of rough sailing before they arrived at Plymouth Bay in late November.
There was nobody there to greet them, no stores for supplies and no homes to buy. They endured a very cold winter and much sickness. At one point, only six people were well enough to care for the sick and dying. By March of the following year, only 51 of the original 102 Pilgrims were still alive.
Nonetheless, these brave pioneers celebrated their newfound freedom to worship as they desired. That first Thanksgiving as they gathered around the table there were many empty places, places which should have been filled by husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, children and friends; but these missing persons had died that first year.
But the Pilgrims gave thanks that no matter how hard that first year was, they had survived, and through all the hardships they knew their God was with them.
This may have been a difficult year for you, but the fact remains, we still have much for which we can be thankful. Even in hardship we can rest on the promise of God’s presence in and plan for our lives.
Dr. David Russell, pastor
Union City First United Methodist Church
420 East Main St.