- By KAYLA RIVAS firstname.lastname@example.org November 20,2018
Photo by Kayla Rivas
Community members across various religions gather in reading the Litany of Thanksgiving
EASTON — Temple B’Nai Israel held a Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 4:30 p.m., sponsored by the Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity.
Rabbi Peter Hyman’s message, “The Power of Gratitude,” drew from a variety of religious texts and remarks by past American presidents, to emphasize the importance of unity, especially during Thanksgiving.
“Sadly we now observe a disdain for open mindedness, a growing suspicion of ‘the other,’ and tragically the overthrow of respect for the loyal opposition,” Hyman said. “A quest for common ground no longer defines the norm but is now seen in some circles as capitulation, a surrendering to the other side.”
“Yet we are here … gathered in this sacred space … each one of us standing tall and secure in our self-defining uniqueness, linked one to another by a common unity and a shared sense of community.”
Hyman said the room was full of individuals of different backgrounds, origins, and beliefs.
“Yet basic to each of our faith traditions is the imperative to respect, to acknowledge and coexist with those different from ourselves.”
Citing a message from the Holy Quran, Hyman said, “our differences are intentional and God-derived, and God will eventually explain the reason for our differences.”
“In the meantime, worry less about the differences and more about the good we can bring to bear.”
“You want to celebrate a real thanksgiving?” he asked. “Then care for people in need, the weak, the powerless … those most exposed, the immigrant. We are on the same path, we travel the same journey, and we all are children of God.”
Hyman said we must make sure the community food pantry is stocked, and to support Talbot Interfaith Shelter through clothing and food donations, and through contributions.
“Real Thanksgiving comes when we reach out to others and discover in our reaching out that we ourselves are embraced in return.”
Service participants included Rev. Sue Browning of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship; Ellen Barry Grunden on music; Jeanne Halpin of Third Haven Friend’s Meeting; Rev. Dartanyon Hines of Asbury United Methodist Church; Rabbi Naomi Hyman of Talbot Association of Clergy and Laity; Dr. Walid Kamsheh, Mareeya Muneer and Abdul Samad Syed of the Islamic Society of Easton; Rose Potter of Triumph Baptist Church; Estela Vianey Ramirez of ChesMRC; P.E.A.C.E. President Rev. Nancy Sajda; Dr. Gary Schiff of Chestertown Havurah, Edward Simonoff of Temple B’Nai Israel and P.E.A.C.E, and Pastor Walt Wiltschek of Easton Church of the Brethren.