The Cushing Historical Society offers its annual Harvest and Thanksgiving Program on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. at the Old South Cushing Church on Salt Pond Road. As of this year, the church is handicapped accessible.

This traditional service, open to the public, completes the society’s summer programs. Each year, the hanging kerosene lamps are lit, and the 1854 baptist church is dramatically decorated with the browns, golds, and rusty oranges of autumn.

Traditional harvest and Thanksgiving hymns are mainstays of the program, interspersed with readings by town residents. Many are essays written by famous authors, others by local citizens. Each carries a message of Thanksgiving, gratitude for the year’s abundance, or a non-denominational prayer for protection in the coming year.

Hot mulled cider and donuts usually form the centerpiece of refreshments. A basket is passed for donations (tax-deductible) to maintain the charming country church. It was authentically restored by the society in 2000, when a new steeple was added, and the building was brought back to its original condition. That is, it has no running water, electricity or heat. Happily, the congregation, even in cold weather, seems to provide sufficient warmth. For more information, call 354-6351.