Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Focuses on Unity and Gratitude

Tuesday, November 17, 2015, 8:30 am
By: 
Jennifer Hill Worthington

The East Lansing Area Clergy Association will be hosting their annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at The Peoples Church of East Lansing Monday, November 23, 2015, at 7:00PM with a reception to follow after the service.

Attendees can expect a celebratory service that includes music, prayers, readings, and celebrations of gratitude from many different faith traditions. Some of the traditions joining this year’s celebration are Greek Orthodox, Catholic, Jewish, Islamic, Baha’i, several Protestant denominations, and, new to the event this year, QCROSS, the Queer Christians Reclaiming Our Sexuality and Spirituality student organization from Michigan State University.

Reverend Jenn Tafel, who advises the on-campus student organization, says “It is an honor to participate in the Interfaith Thanksgiving service each year. This event is a shining star in the East Lansing community. This year Q-CROSS at MSU will be included in the order of service for the first time and I am thrilled about that. It is an opportunity to show the community how our faith traditions get along.”

All are welcome at the service, and if you wish to participate as well, there is an Interfaith Choir that will be singing during the service. They will rehearse at 6:00PM prior the service and will be directed by Jonathan Reed, Choir Director of The Peoples Church. Children are encouraged to stay in the service and participate, but childcare will be available.

Each year a love offering is taken at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service benefiting a local charity. This year’s recipient of the offering is St. Vincent’s Catholic Charities. The funds raised at the event will help newly relocated refugees in our area as they adjust and find new life here in Lansing.

This year’s organizer, Elizabeth Aho from The Peoples Church, says that this celebration is a chance for the community to “come together as a diverse worshipping community to celebrate that diversity and recognize that we can be united in a spirit of gratitude to God.”