Churches unite Sunday for annual Thanksgiving service
by Laura Johnson
Nov 17, 2012 | 2300 views |  0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
An annual church service aimed at giving thanks and incorporating participants from multiple faiths is Sunday evening at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Anniston.

“This is one time of the year that the community can gather and worship together,” said Martha Vandervoort, executive director of Interfaith Ministries.

“It is very appropriate for us, in these difficult times, to be gathering together to say that we’re thankful,” she added.

The ceremony will include a Jewish tradition — the blowing of a ram’s horn known as a Shofar, a Muslim prayer spoken by a member of the Anniston Islamic Center and a Christian sermon on the story of the fishes and the loaves from the New Testament.

“You have different pieces of different parts of the worship,” Vandervoort said.

In addition to having many different faiths represented at the church service, many different denominations from the Christian faith will be represented at the event.

The diversity of denominations and cultural backgrounds will be reflected in the musical performances in the service, Vandervoort said. In addition to the ceremonial sounding of the Shofar, which will sound at the beginning of the ceremony, attendees can expect to hear Hispanic tunes, the organ and traditional church hymens.

“I really am expecting for the music to be spectacular,” said Vandervoort, who has been organizing the ceremony for several years.

Bringing the local faith community together under one roof is especially important during times of economic hardship, Vandervoort said. It helps people of faith unite and better assist those who are struggling to afford basic needs she said.

“If we can come together as a community, we can serve more people,” Vandervoort said.

The church service also serves to reveal to some that, despite distinct religious differences, faith in God unites many, she said.

“There is that commonality,” Vandervoort said. “There is no better way to recognize that than worship.”

Staff Writer Laura Johnson: 256-235-3544. On Twitter @LJohnson_Star.

Community Thanksgiving Service

4 p.m. Sunday

Where: Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 1301 Golden Springs Road, Anniston

Contact: 256-237-3011.

Churches unite Sunday for annual Thanksgiving service by Laura Johnson