Interfaith Thanksgiving Service focuses on “Growing In Unity”

The 58th Annual Tri-City Interfaith Thanksgiving Service will be held on Monday, November 25, 7:30 p.m., at St Joseph Catholic Church, 43148 Mission Blvd, Fremont. The program is sponsored by the Tri-City Interfaith Council (TCIC). This year’s theme, “Growing In Unity,” focuses on hurdles we face as a society to being truly united and the ways we can overcome those hurdles.

TCIC President, the Rev. Jeffrey Spencer, senior pastor at Niles Discovery Church, will share a reflection during the service.

The liturgical fabric of the service is rich in readings from sacred text, prayers, songs, traditional costumes, dances, and music from many of the various faith and spiritual traditions represented in the Tri-Cities. The importance of passing the sacred tradition to the next generation is highlighted at the conclusion of the service when a symbol is passed from an adult to a younger member of many of the Tri-City’s faith communities.

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 that are such an important part of our community. A reception follows the service.

Attendees are invited to bring refreshments for a time of fellowship after the service. A financial offering will be received to underwrite an expansion of the justice ministries of the TCIC.

Since 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 other faith traditions joined in the celebration. Now, it is common to have people representing the Hindu, Muslim, Ohlone Indian, Unitarian Universalist, Sikh, Baha’i, and Buddhist communities’ share in the Thanksgiving Service.

For the second year, this interfaith service concludes the Bay Area’s United Against Hate Week, a movement supported by governments and non-governmental organizations around the Bay Area in November. For more information on that very special week, please see http://bit.ly/UnitedAgainstHate19.

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