Campus Ministry Sparks New Tradition with First Ever ‘Friendsgiving’ Event

Students enjoyed a meal with all of the Thanksgiving standards during a Friendsgiving event sponsored by Campus Ministries on Nov. 17. (Photo Provided by Mary Clare Boyle)

Posted on 11/27/19

By, Mary Clare Boyle – Staff Writer

Sunday, Nov. 17 was a night filled with more than just food, friends, and faith at St. John Fisher College’s Campus Ministry’s first annual Friendsgiving.

Peer Minister of Outreach Abbi Kelly has been working diligently all year at bringing new people into Campus Ministry. She has put on fun events at least once a month and has been very focused on expanding Campus Ministry’s reach. For November, Abbi decided to do a Friendsgiving event, not only for the purpose of expanding Campus Ministry, but to invite specific students who could potentially be Peer Ministers next year. 

Peer Minister of Outreach Abbi Kelly, the main organizer for the event, leads the group in a prayer of thanks before dinner. (Photo Provided by Mary Clare Boyle)

In preparation for the event, Kelly made invitations for a few administrators, those students who have expressed interest in being a Peer Minister, and then those who current Peer Ministers believe would be a good fit. Then, the rest of the seats were filled with any students who wanted to attend. Kelly also worked with Fisher’s Dining Services to cater the event and held it in Golisano Gateway Midlevel in Basil Hall. 

When asked how she thought the first annual Friendsgiving went, Kelly said, “I believe that the first annual Friendsgiving was a huge success. There were about 40 people there and it was just a great time for people to come together, enjoy a unique meal together, and learn more about each other.”

 As a senior graduating in the spring, this is Kelly’s last year as a peer minister. However, her sister, freshman Emma Kelly, has expressed interest in joining the peer ministry team next year. 

The event was more than just fun, it was also service because the price of admittance was a canned good. The event itself began with a short social hour, where people used the time to mingle with others, have appetizers, and sign cards for those less fortunate. Then, when everyone sat down, each table filled out a paper writing what they are most thankful for and those papers are now taped along the windows to the Campus Ministry office. 

Right before the meal, Kelly and other peer ministers read a reflective prayer for the theme of being thankful. Then finally, everyone took turns getting food from the buffet style Thanksgiving meal spread. 

This first annual Friendsgiving was about more than dinner, friends, and faith. It was the start of a new Campus Ministry tradition, a service opportunity, and the chance to connect those looking to become Peer Ministers. 


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