Multi-Faith Gratitude

I received a long-lasting lesson on gratitude at a synagogue on a Thanksgiving morning. it was during the annual Thanksgiving worship service that was co-sponsored by First Plymouth Church and Temple Sinai. Each year the service swapped sites and preachers, but was always held at 10:00 AM on Thanksgiving. This particular year the Rabbi spoke of how important religious freedom has been to the development of Judaism in the United States. Not only religious freedom, but real support for minorities that has allowed Judaism to grow and flourish. A freedom and support that Judaism had seen in very few other nations. As a member of the majority faith group I had taken for granted my freedom to worship as I wished. The Rabbi gave me a completely new appreciation for our freedoms.

This freedom will be on even greater display this coming Sunday night during the forty-second annual Huntington Interfaith Thanksgiving service. In addition to Christian and Jewish participation we will have representatives of Bahai, Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Native American and interfaith spirituality. The fact that so many faith groups can grow and flourish on Long island is testimony to the religious freedoms we all enjoy, The Interfaith service is not only a celebration of our diversity, but is, for me, a means to deepen my own faith. When I listened to the Rabbi speak, about what is important about his religion, I gain a deeper appreciation of my own. We can become complacent in our faith and even jaded as we repeatedly go through the same rituals and practices. But as we witness the practice of others it may allow us to see our religion in a new way. Please join me at the community Thanksgiving service on Sunday, November 24, 7:00 PM, at the United Methodist Church of Huntington-Cold Spring Harbor, 180 West Neck Road, Huntington.

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