Members of the three Abrahamic faiths came together on Tuesday night at a Thanksgiving interfaith service at a New Jersey church to sing, pray and recount the blessings in their lives, North Jersey reported.
“We all have more in common than not, and we need to
celebrate that,” said Shaheen Ahmed, who attends the Darul Islah mosque in
Teaneck and is a member of the Tenafly Interfaith Association that runs the
Over 100 worshipers packed the pews at the Church of
Atonement in Tenafly on Tuesday night.
The Thanksgiving interfaith service is an annual tradition
that started shortly after 9/11.
The event included participants from Lutheran, Presbyterian, Korean, Roman Catholic and Episcopal churches as well as Muslims and Jews from around Tenafly.
Although many of the religions have daily prayers containing
expressions of gratitude, most people don’t concentrate on them, reciting them
as a matter of routine, Ahmed said. “Everyone’s lives are busy and even
though we say thank you to people here and there we don’t reflect on what
gratitude itself means. This gives us that time.”
Rev. Peter Magnan of the Presbyterian Church of Tenafly
commented on the healing power of gratitude.
“This Thanksgiving, one of the things that I will give
thanks for is that when my grandfathers came to this country, they were not
greeted with hatred or fear but with opportunities,” said Magnan.
Thanksgiving is a celebration observed on the fourth Thursday of November in
the United States and the second Monday of October in Canada. The celebration
is about giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the
Though it started as a Christian tradition, the current form
of celebration is a cultural holiday observed by people of all faiths.