West Charleston celebrates Thanksgiving with ‘Flat Mack’

By Irvin Heishman

Unable to have our traditional indoor Thanksgiving worship service and carry-in meal, the church leadership team at West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio, engaged in a session of creative thinking in which “Flat Mack” was born.

At left: Flat Mack at West Charleston Church of the Brethren. At right: the Strayers grandchildren enjoy online schooling with Flat Mack.

It’s a spin on the children’s book series by Jeff Brown about the adventures of Flat Stanley. Julia Lutz used modge podge to mount photos of Alexander Mack onto foam board, creating “Flat Mack.” A kick off for Flat Mack’s congregational visits, focused on illustrating what members are thankful to God for, was planned for Nov. 1. A “grab and go” meal of turkey bratwurst and fixings was prepared and served to members who came to the drive through at the front doors of the church. There they were able to meet Flat Mack for the first time.

Since then, Flat Mack has been making his way among the members of the congregation. Photos of his visits and all the things members are thankful for are being posted on the church’s Facebook page, one each day. In our Zoom worship, Sonia Ewald introduced children to the story of Alexander Mack during the children’s story time, sharing from the book Alexander Mack: A Man who Rippled the Waters by Myrna Grove. During a recent Zoom service, Don Buccholtz shared about what he learned from his visit to Germantown (Pa.) Church of the Brethren, the first Brethren congregation in the Americas, and Wissahickon Creek, site of the first Brethren baptisms in the Americas. On Sunday, Nov. 22, Alexander Mack himself in the person of A. Mack (aka Larry Glick) may make a surprise visit to the Zoom service.

Flat Mack has turned out to be a fun and playful alternative to the Thanksgiving traditions that have to be set aside this year for reasons of safety.

Irvin Heishman is one of the pastors of West Charleston Church of the Brethren in Tipp City, Ohio. Find the church’s Facebook page and more about Flat Mack at www.facebook.com/wccob.

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