Our community celebrated the holiday a little early Sunday, with our annual interfaith Thanksgiving service. It was held this year at Our Lady of the Angelus Catholic Church in Rego Park, Queens.
Participants included (in the picture above): Bishop Paul Sanchez; Cantor Debora Jacobson; Rev. Jeanne Warfield; Rev. Thomas Reese; Rev. John Mendonca; Rabbi Hazzan Henry Rosenblum; Deacon Greg Kandra; Msgr. John McGuirl; Rev. Radu Titonea.
Yours truly proclaimed the Gospel: “See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet, I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass in the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you — you of little faith?”
Fr. Radu, from the Romanian Catholic community, preached a wonderful homily about “walking together” in friendship and fellowship.
There was music from several faith traditions — joyful, exuberant and full of hope.
The service concluded with a prayer:
O God, who is our Creator and who sustains our life by our bounties, You who have blessed our land with all manner of wealth, bless Your people also with the spirit of humility. Let us not, in the pride of possession, forget that and that only when we are faithful to that trust and use our wealth with wisdom, justice and generosity ca it yield us true happiness.
Teach us that the joy of creation far surpasses that of acquisition, and that there is more security in mutual helpfulness than in selfish hoarding. We thank you, O God, for all Your gifts, but above all for the gift of Your spirit, for only by it can we learn to use Your gifts for our blessings. Amen.
After that, it was “America the Beautiful,” and we were on our way. It was a wonderful night of fellowship and faith. A collection was taken up to support the food pantry at the church. It’s a great privilege to be a part of this event every year and to give thanks, each in our own way, to the God who makes all things possible.