Joint  2021 Thanksgiving Service | NJ Chapter

On the night of November 22nd, members and friends across the state and beyond with hearts and minds bonded together in Christian fellowship, gathered virtually for a service of Thanksgiving sponsored by the New Jersey Chapter of the National Black Presbyterian Caucus.  

As we had done before in 2020, many of the Caucus members had felt the need to come together again to share our silent, private prayers, and proclaim our public, passionate praises to an ever-faithful God who had sustained us throughout this past year. The memory of that 2020 gathering had touched our hearts, lifted our spirits and increased our faith, drawing us closer as a family of believers, and igniting a flame of hope that continues to burn brightly with that same sense of thankfulness and gratitude.  

In response to these desires, once again, our living rooms…our dining rooms…and our kitchens became our chapels, via Zoom, as we met on the Monday before the holiday to offer thanks and praises to the Lord together in worship.

Our Thanksgiving Service this year was equally inspiring. Led by our worship team of, Elder Gayle Griffin, Reverend Valencia Norman, and Reverend Doctor Betty Tom, the program was filled with inspiring readings from scripture, powerful prayers, heart-touching songs from several of our church choirs and soloists, singing their praises and tributes to the Lord.

A Time for Remembrance, a memorial segment, honored those faithful saints who were taken home to glory during the past year. A special tribute to the late Rev. Dr. Alfred Johnson, (HR – Newark Presbytery), who had been a very active member of the Caucus for many years, was solemnly shared by his widow, Dr. Abegail Douglas Johnson.

Another highlight was the stirring homily by Reverend Carson S. Washington, who shared a commentary on the story of the Ten Lepers, as recorded in Luke 9. Rev. Carson encouraged each of us to “Be the One” who returns to say thank you…to “Be the One” who shows appreciation for people who help you…to “Be the One” who recognizes “from whom all blessing flow”, and is not ashamed or afraid to share this Gospel with the world: “You, Be the One”!

At the end of the worship service, we were all unmuted and asked to pour out our hearts and share aloud our individual prayers and thanks to God for His love, His faithfulness and His Salvation. Then, from 92 plus worshipping souls came our voices, ringing out, in a cacophony of prayerful sound, praising and thanking God for all of His blessings. One prayer, one praise, stated together in one voice, for all of us. It was a joyful, unforgettable moment of spiritual unity…a moment to remember for another year.


“In the good times, we’ll praise His name,

In the bad times, we’ll do the same; In everything,

Give the King of Kings all the praise”


This article was written by member Elder Josephine Jackson on our Joint Thanksgiving Worship. Attendees from across the state and the Country joined us in this celebration. This is one way we see as expanding the ministry of our local chapter, a primary goal for our Chapter.  We have realized that we are so separated from each other even in local spaces. We trust this service will be just one opportunity to grow the Caucus in this state.