The 52nd Annual Tri-City Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will be held on Monday, November 25, 7:30 p.m., at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, 43148 Mission Blvd, Fremont. The program is sponsored by the Tri-City Interfaith Council and, this year, co-sponsored by Interfaith Women of Peace. This year’s theme is “Building Community; Giving Thanks.” Shamsa Rafay, an active member of the Islamic Center of the East Bay, will be preaching.
From 1962 when three Protestant Christian churches gathered for Thanksgiving worship, this holiday service has evolved to reflect dramatic historical changes and diversity in the Bay Area. Vatican II encouraged interfaith dialogue between Catholics, Protestants and the Jewish community. Then in the late 1980s representatives from the Hindu, Baha’i, Muslim, Ohlone Indians, Unitarian Universalist, Latter Day Saints, Unificationist, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, and Zoroastrian communities joined to share in the Thanksgiving Service.
The liturgical fabric of the service is rich in readings from sacred prayers, chants, songs, as well as beautiful traditional costumes, dancers, and musicians. The importance of passing the sacred tradition to the next generation is highlighted as younger members of our faith communities’ traditions share in rendering sacred text and songs.
Those who attend are invited to bring refreshments for a time of fellowship following the service. Non-perishable foods will be collected for Tri-City Volunteers. A financial offering will also be received for Tri-City Volunteers.
Parents are encouraged to bring children and youth for this inspiring and educational program. The Thanksgiving service provides a unique opportunity to become acquainted with the varied cultural and religious traditions which are such an important part of our community.