After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Interfaith Coalition of Macon County gathered for the third time on Tuesday, Nov. 14, in the Robert C. Carpenter Community Building. The service addressed the theme of giving thanks for what unites us by sharing prayer, music, and readings from various faith communities. A small group from Mountain Voices and one from the First United Methodist Church choir sang for the service.
Joel Edelson of Mountain Synagogue pointed out, “What started as a shared community experience several years ago, sharing our various stories, ideas, and values on a Thanksgiving theme, has grown much more so given the recent developments and events taking place in the Middle East and around the world.”
Edelson expressed the goal of the Interfaith Coalition.
“Our goal as an Interfaith Coalition was to all come together and share prayers, stories, songs – but if we in the world are to figure out how to live together in harmony and peace, it comes down to education of all members of the community, young and old,” said Edelson. “I think education can be so powerful in overcoming misconceptions, and these are passed on by close friends and family, many times without consciously knowing we are doing this. Xenophobia (ZEE-no-foe-bee-uh) is defined as the dislike, hatred, or fear of outsiders. This can manifest as hostility toward immigrants, but it can also manifest as hatred toward members of another tribe, culture, or religion.”
Beverly Barnett, a member of the Interfaith Coalition planning group, said, “I feel strongly that where we can forge bonds across different faiths, it is always a good thing. I support this service because we all have so much for which to be thankful. Being thankful, worshiping together, and supporting one another is very important.”
Submitted by Lee Berger, member All Saints Episcopal Church and Mountain Synagogue.