By: Sharon Aron Baron
Since 1991, eleven congregations across Coral Springs and Parkland have come together as one for the Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Interfaith Unity Service.
Faiths include Catholic, Muslim, Jewish, Baha’is, Christian, Protestant as well as others gather on the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving.
This year’s event was held at Temple Beth Orr and included a combined choir of all participating congregations and a joint children’s choir.
The clergy committee always invites the Mayors of Coral Springs and Parkland to begin the evening by reading President Lincoln’s original Proclamation of Thanksgiving.
In order to maximize the interfaith aspects of the Unity Service, the preacher invited to offer the evening’s sermon has never been the spiritual leader of the host congregation. This year a special exception was made through an initiative of the clergy committee planning the event in recognition that Rabbi Gross of Temple Beth Orr, who helped launch the first Unity Service back in 1991, will be retiring from the pulpit next Spring.
“The Unity Service, in tandem with and in counterpoint to the National Day of Prayer in May, constitutes a marvelous celebration of a richly diverse faith community where everyone has a place at the table.” – Rabbi Mark Gross.
The event incorporated charitable opportunities: including a cash offering to benefit a local charity to feed the needy, and a collection of canned good for the Temple Beth Orr Food Closet.
The 2015 Annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Unity Service will be held Tuesday, November 24 at the First United Methodist Church in Coral Springs.