Beth Emet synagogue welcomes Evanstonians to an interfaith celebration the night before Thanksgiving. Now an established tradition, the 14th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service, sponsored by Interfaith Action of Evanston, blends liturgy, prayers and sacred music from the community’s diverse congregations and faith traditions.
Beth Emet's cantor Arik Luckwill be leading a choir made up of singers from multiple congregations.The service music takes inspiration from gospel and Jewish liturgy, and will express themes of hunger, healing, and hope. Luck is contributing some original music written with collaborator Barb Wertico, and the congregation will be encouraged to sing along.
This musical blending echoes the theme of unity espoused by Father Bill Tkachuk of St Nicholas Catholic church, who will be giving the service’s keynote address.
"I view our tradition of Thanksgiving Day as an opportunity to come together as people of many faiths and give thanks to the God of blessings whom we address by many names and worship through many diverse traditions”, says Father Bill.
Bringing faith communities together to care for the vulnerable has long been the mission of Interfaith Action, recently honored by the Evanston Community Foundation for 25 years of sustained impact in Evanston.
“I look forward each year to IAE’s interfaith Thanksgiving service. It’s a truly joyous celebration, bringing people from many different faiths and ethical traditions together to give thanks, through words and music, for the many blessings we’ve received,” says IAE president Carolyn Gifford. “ IAE is especially grateful for the dedicated efforts of hundreds of volunteers who faithfully serve our hungry and homeless neighbors throughout the year at IAE’s Hospitality Center , soup kitchens, and warming centers.”
The service will include an offering to support Interfaith Action's anti-hunger activities. Parking is available at Beth Emet, and down the street at the Unitarian Church.