Hard Time With Interfaith Service

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

Below you will find the announcement I received from the Community of Congregations regarding their Interfaith Thanksgiving Service.  I won't be going.  It's not because I have anything against tolerance.  In fact, to paraphrase the cliche, some of my best friends are agnostics and non-Christians.  I have even sat in the same pew with them.

What gets in the way for me is that I confess Jesus as Lord.  That means that I can't step out of the relationship, intellectually or otherwise, and in good conscience pray by in other name. 

I will gladly visit services of other religions and be a respectful observer.  I'll even be open to learning a thing or two and apply it to my own faith practice.  All of the Muslim and Jewish friends I have would not pray with me at my church.  They nevertheless are all for religious toleration.


2010 Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

The Community of Congregations (CoC) presents its annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, November 21, 2010 at 7:00 p.m. at Oak Park Temple B’nai Abraham Zion 1235 North Harlem Avenue.

The theme of this year’s service is religious tolerance and pluralism in our community incorporating music, worship and prayer. Worship and prayer will be led by multiple local clergy from many different faiths with the sermon delivered by Father Larry McNally of Ascension Church. Musical accompaniment for the service will be provided by local congregational choral groups, which will include adult and children’s choirs melded together to perform as one.

We will pray as one community and share food after the service as we celebrate what binds us together. During the service we will ask for donations to help the Holiday and Food Gift Basket Program and the CoC for future programs.

Please join us to give thanks, to worship together as a community and to meet someone new.

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Pam Meyerson from Oak Park  

Posted: November 17th, 2010 2:27 PM

Tom, your comment saddens me. No one is asking you to "step out of the relationship" you have with Jesus. Rather, we are celebrating and giving thanks for what people of different faiths have in common. Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim clergy will all participate, as will combined children's and adult choirs from many congregations. No one will be watching to see if your lips move.Pam MeyersonSecretary, Community of Congregation

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