GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Local families participated in a group activity organized by Family Faith Time, which meets the second Saturday of each month at Glen Ridge Congregational Church. The group includes families with children and grandparents from Glen Ridge and Bloomfield, as well as neighboring towns. On Nov. 14, 30 members gathered for a program titled “Gratitude and Thanksgiving: 1621 to Now.”
Everyone, young and old, participated in learning activities connected to Thanksgiving 1621. Games and activities included cranberry hopping, to check for ripeness; counting kernels on an ear of corn; determining how many popcorn kernels fit in two teaspoons; and eating candy corn. Attendees played the Native American games of feather blowing and leaf bean bags; sailed a miniature Mayflower over a table top; and observed Pilgrim clothing. A craft activity included tracing each family member’s hands to create a “grateful Thanksgiving” symbol for each family. The hand shapes were inscribed with words before being glued on a gold-colored plate.
Traditional foods were eaten for lunch, and, to keep with the period, forks were not used, only a spoon and knife. After lunch, the group moved to the Sanctuary of the church where Janet Spoerl read a story about how the Native Americans valued family and were thankful for nature’s resources. Faith development included hands-on activities, building friendships, sharing food and worshipping together.