By Morgan Pilz, Staff Writer
(Nov. 21, 2019) Area residents and guests can skip the tedious process of making Thanksgiving dinner and instead, enjoy a full holiday meal prepared by one of two local churches next Thursday, or, donate to various churches and organizations throughout the county.
For the 41st year, the Ocean City Baptist Church will host its annual Thanksgiving dinner at the North Division Street parish from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“The ultimate purpose of Thanksgiving is it’s a day you should be with family and we just don’t think anyone should be alone, so we want everyone to be a part of our family if they don’t have one,” Pastor Sean Davis said. “It’s a nice warm meal filled with fellowship and everyone is so friendly.”
Guests have the option of dining in, carrying food out or calling in advance for delivery. Last year, the church prepared nearly 600 meals that were either eaten inside the church, carried out or delivered.
The food will be made by Chef Paul deHuarte Sr., head chef of Ristorante Antipasti on 31st Street.
The church will serve turkey, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, green beans, corn, peas, stuffing and pumpkin and apple pies and other treats. Dozens of volunteers and even employees from local restaurants help with cooking the turkeys.
“I honestly think we have the best Thanksgiving meal in town,” Davis said.
Volunteers deliver meals to the Ocean City Police Department, Ocean City Fire Department, Ocean City Coast Guard Station, Public Works Department and to those working at local businesses open on Thanksgiving.
“It’s a wonderful community event,” Davis said. “There’s a whole community of Christians and others getting together. You don’t have to be Christian either. Democrats and Republicans, Redskins and Giants fans, it truly is one of the best things to see the community come together.”
For those who need their meals delivered to Ocean City or West Ocean City, call 410-289-4054 or 410-289-6573 or visit www.ocbaptist.org to volunteer or order in advance.
Berlin’s First Baptist Church will offer Thanksgiving dinner for its 32nd year on 613 Williams Street from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“We do this to help the community and show the love of God and just share,” Sharon Parsons, church officer manager and a Thanksgiving volunteer since 2001, said. “We’re a very loving church and we reach out in various ways.”
Last year, the Berlin church provided about 480 meals, either as takeout or dine in. Volunteers are prepared to serve as many, if not more meals this year.
The church will provide a traditional Thanksgiving meal, including turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, rolls, cranberry sauce, cookies and other desserts.
About 100 meals were delivered to shut-ins and people working on the holiday including those at police and fire departments, the nursing home and the DaVita Berlin Dialysis Center, where around 30 patients are required to have dialysis every day.
The church requires people to call and reserve a meal in order to prepare in advance. Diners should call 410-641-4306 to reserve their seats or carry-out meals. Leave a voicemail and someone from the church will return the call.
The Community Church, located on 11227 Race Track Road in Ocean Pines, will be handing out bags of food for people who can’t afford to buy the Thanksgiving necessities, on Monday, Nov. 25.
Community Church members have been collecting turkeys, potatoes, cranberry sauce, packaged stuffing, canned green beans, cookies, other desserts and supplies in order to provide for those in need.
The list of people who will receive these items has already been referred by Worcester County’s assistance agencies, but the church welcomes any volunteers or donations offered during this time, either for the Thanksgiving dinners or for Shepherd’s Nook Thrift Store and Sarah’s food pantry.
For more information or to volunteer, call 410-641-5433.
The Ocean Pines Farmer’s Market located in White Horse Park will hold a special Thanksgiving market on Tuesday, Nov. 26, from 9 a.m. to noon so shoppers to grab some last-minute orders.
“This market is geared toward our baking vendors especially,” Co-Organizer Lenore Brady said. “This way, people can order pies, breads and other baked goods a few days out instead of a whole week ahead.”
The Tuesday market is not expected to have as many vendors as the year-round Saturday market, but will include bakers and a few fruit and vegetable vendors as well.
The Saturday market will also take place on Saturday, Nov. 23, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. as well.
Diakonia in West Ocean City is asking for donations for its emergency food pantry and will accept canned goods, rice and pastas, paper products or other Thanksgiving goods that can be shared with the community.
Diakonia provides emergency housing, food services, counseling and assistance for its guests.
For more information about Diakonia, call 410-213-0923.