A Celebration of Thanksgiving
As families gather in we will have “harvesters” to gather the canned food for the cornucopia food drive. We will have welcoming hosts. Perhaps Master and Mistress Brewster to help audience members find there seats. The idea is that all have come to worship and are meeting secretly at the Scrooby Inn.
Part 1: Meeting at Scrooby Inn
Pastor Robinson – Welcome, thank you for all coming to our Sunday meeting. We know the risk you take in coming, may the Lord bless your faithfulness. I will invite Elder Brewster to offer the opening prayer. After which we will sing “Come ye thankful people come.”
William Brewster – (offer prayer)
Mistress Brewster – (lead song) “Oh ye thankful people come”
2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he aleadeth me beside the still waters.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou aanointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
6 Surely agoodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
Kings Soldiers – Stop in the name of the King! The king has declared that all citizens of England will belong to the Church of England. (Hand Robinson the decree)
Pastor Robinson – My friends, King James has ordered us to go to his church and worship according to the laws of England, or not worship at all. He says if we do not obey him we shall be punished.
Mary Chilton – We love the Lord and want to worship as a true Christian. What do we do?
William Bradford – This house will be watched every Sabbath. This has been our church home for a long time, but it will not be safe to meet here any more.
Elder Brewster – We must rely on our God through these trials for he is a God of Liberty. If he could save the Israelites from pharaoh then he can give us our freedom and none can stand in his way. Let the work go on and trust that God will lead us to a land where we can worship.
Narrator 1 – The Pilgrims stopped attending worship services in churches and held services in their homes, which the king did not tolerate. The Pilgrims were hunted down as criminals, jailed and persecuted. Many of them left England and went to Holland in 1607. Then in 1618 King James decreed that all remaining Pilgrims in England must conform to the Church or leave England. So, because of religious persecution the Puritans and Pilgrims left England.
Narrator 2 – Though the Pilgrims had the freedom to worship God as they chose, they were not happy in Holland. They were internationals and could not get good jobs. Their children were beginning to speak Dutch instead of English. They finally decided that God wanted them to sail to America to start their lives all over again. In the summer of 1620, a group of Pilgrims set sail on a ship called “The Mayflower”. There were 102 men, women, and children on board the ship headed for Jamestown, Virginia, where the puritans had settled earlier.
Narrator 3 – Nearly halfway across the Atlantic Ocean, an extremely violent storm caused the ship to go off course. On November 9 1620, they landed at Cape Cod, Massachusetts, over 1000 miles north of Virginia. If they stayed there, they would be free from the obligations to the New England Company in Jamestown. They decided that the storm was God’s way of setting them free to govern themselves. So they settled in Plymouth colony, and formed a new kind of self-government based upon the Mayflower Compact.
Part 2: Mayflower compact.
Pricilla – Come now children lets show Elder Brewster what we have learned.
(Kindergarten Recite Thanksgiving Delights poem)
Brewster – Well done children! Well done. And thank you Pricilla for taking care of them. I know it is not easy being on this ship for so long.
John Carver – I think we did it! How does this sound?
…Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic, for our better ordering and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the Colony, unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.
All men present: Amen!
John Carver – In witness whereof we have hereunder subscribed our names at Cape Cod, the eleventh of November in the year of the reign of our sovereign lord, King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Dom. 1620.
Capt. Standish: Land ho! There is land!
Mrs. Brewster: Oh how beautiful! Thanks be to our almighty God in heaven. He has brought us safely to this place.
Mary Chilton: I have been waiting for the day where I can be the first woman to step foot onto the land where I can be free!
William Bradford:: There is plenty of fresh water, fields waiting to be planted.
Capt Standish: We will build a fort on that hill!
Elder Brewster: Let us give thanks unto the Lord
(Everyone pause to bow heads and kneel. Pilgrim picture)
Priscilla and Kindergarten Scripture: O give thanks unto the Lord for he is good and his mercy endureth forever.
Part 3 – The first winter and Squanto
Narrator 1 – The area where the ship made landfall had belonged to the Patuxets, a fierce tribe that took intense delight in murdering anyone who would dare invade their territory.
Narrator 2 – A sickness, however, had wiped them out, leaving their land free for the taking. The Pilgrims didn’t even have to clear fields for planting. God had prepared the way for them.
Narrator 3 – The first winter was a hard one for the pilgrims. Many died of sickness. The pilgrims never forgot to thank God.
Narrator 1 – At one point, a daily ration of food for the pilgrims was 5 kernels of corn and a faith that God would sustain them.
Narrator 2 – In the spring, the pilgrims found that the nearest neighbors were the wampanoag’s, a civilized tribe ruled by Massasiout. The chief and his people accepted the Pilgrims and helped them.
Narrator 3 – Squanto, a lone survivor of the Patuxets, made his home with his new white brothers and taught them how to survive in this new and challenging land.
Squanto: See! Oak leaves big like squirrel’s foot. Time to plant corn now.
Bradford:What are you going to do with those tiny fish? They are too small to eat.
Squanto: Indians plant corn in these fields many times. Ground hungry now. We must feed the hungry earth.”
Kindergarten Planting Song
1st and 2nd: The Harvest Song
Narrator 1: The harvest of 1623 brought a surplus of corn, so much that the pilgrims were able to help out the indians for a change. So joyous were they that they celebrated for three days. They invited Chief Massasoit to be their guest.
Narrator 2: : He came, bringing with him his wife, several other chiefs and and 120 braves. All sat down to a feast of venison, goats,hogs, and turkeys, vegetables, grapes nuts, plums, puddings and pies.
Bradford: Friends, God has blessed our summers’ work, and has sent us a bountiful harvest. He brought us safe to this new home and protected us through the terrible winter. It is fit we have a time for giving thanks to God for His mercies to us. What say you? Shall we not have a week of feasting and of thanksgiving?
Squanto: (to chief) The white men talk to the great Spirit. They thank him for his good gifts.
3rd and 4th grade:
For Health and Strength
Scriptures 2 Ne 2:14
Song: For all things bright and beautiful.
Let the feasting begin!