Thousands Mark Australia's First National Day Of Thanksgiving

( [email protected] ) Jun 02, 2004 10:14 PM EDT

Tens of thousands of Australians participated in the country's first National Day of Thanksgiving Saturday, May 29, with nationwide celebrations. Organizers said they were "delighted with the level of involvement by both churches and individuals," especially since they only had three months' warning after Australia's governor general announced the holiday.

Federal and state parliamentarians and local government officials attended some 200 community breakfasts organized in different locations while thousands of "random acts of kindness" were initiated by churches and individuals as the

day was celebrated in hundreds of communities across Australia.

People also visited police, ambulance and fire stations as well as retail outlets with morning tea to say thank you to those serving the community faithfully but often with little acknowledgement. Churches held prayer meetings, worship celebrations or opened their doors to people to pray during the day.

Others organized concerts in local parks and town halls or encouraged home groups to invite in their neighbors for a meal.

Churches are already making plans for the next National Day of Thanksgiving set for Saturday, May 14, 2005.