A few of the faces behind Thanksgiving To-Go

“People think I’m nuts, but I really like cooking 380 pounds worth of turkey.”  

After Halloween, folks fast forward to Christmas. Thanksgiving is often forgotten. Doug and Sue Baez, however, do not overlook Thanksgiving – they look forward to it. To them, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  

The couple prepares all the turkey for Good Shepherd’s Thanksgiving and makes homemade pizza for the Good Shepherd Staff. While the style of Good Shepherd Thanksgiving has transitioned to a to-go style, Doug and Sue’s love for the meal remains the same. Their commitment to Good Shepherd’s tradition all stems from one invitation. Pastor Sheryl reached out to Sue in 2006, after the person who normally cooked the turkeys could not get work off.  

“Pastor Sheryl came up to me. She goes, ‘I heard you like to cook. Would you like to take over? Would you fill in for this year?’” Sue said. “And I’ve been cooking ever since.” 

Sue has helped with Good Shepherd’s Thanksgiving for the past 15 years. Doug has helped her for 10. In the process, Sue has changed jobs three times. One of the first things she tells her employer is that she must have Tuesday before Thanksgiving off, so she can continue cooking for Good Shepherd.  

But to Doug and Sue, Good Shepherd’s Thanksgiving is about more than cooking – the pair continues coming back for the community.  

“So many people enjoy it. I mean, people who don’t have family, people who have large families and don’t have a place to get together,” Sue said. “So many people just look forward to this meal.” 

Doug and Sue recognize that Good Shepherd’s Thanksgiving takes a team. While turkey is a major part of the meal, there are also sides. There are people who donate food items. There are people who warm up, pack and serve the meal.  

“So many people contribute and make this happen,” Sue said. “It’s feeding a community, which is just awesome.”  

And it takes a community to feed the community.  

Good Shepherd is thankful for Sue, Doug and you, a member of our congregation. Thank you for supporting Good Shepherd this Thanksgiving. Join us for Thanksgiving Worship this Wednesday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. in Madison or online. Then, join us Thanksgiving Day for Thanksgiving To-Go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Madison.