If you’re distressed, as I am, by all the acrimony at home and abroad, I have a suggestion that could bring you some peace and uplift.
Show up Tuesday night (Nov. 25) at Mecklenburg Ministries’ 39th annual citywide interfaith Thanksgiving service.
You’ll find people of various races, cultural backgrounds and faith traditions praying and singing together – not judging and bad-mouthing each other.
The event will start at 7 p.m. at The Park Church, 6029 Beatties Ford Road. Get there early – it’s one of the best-attended events in Charlotte. (Last year, more than 1,000 people were there.)
In fact, come at 6:30 p.m. for the musical prelude.
As always, the night’s accent will be on gratitude. Delivering that message from the pulpit will be a trio of women clergy: Rabbi Judy Schindler of Temple Beth El, the Rev. Ophelia Garmon-Brown, M.D., of Novant Health, and the Rev. Christy Snow of the Spiritual Living Center of Charlotte. The title of their talk: “Committed to Love Amidst Paradox.”
Among the other speakers: Bishop Claude Alexander, who pastors The Park, and Imam John Ramadan of Masjid Ar-Razzaq. Ramadan also chairs the board of the sponsoring Mecklenburg Ministries, an interfaith group with about 100 member congregations.
The service will open with a Hindu Thanksgiving ritual prayer and include readings from the sacred texts of various religions. Sharing a story for the children will be the Rev. Sofia McGuire of Sufi Order International.
There will also be glorious music, led by 200-plus singers and musicians from the Interfaith Adult and Children’s Choirs and from the Queen City Ringers, the Gaston Choral Society, The Park Choir, and the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church Choir.
One last thing: If you’re coming, bring some canned goods to benefit Loaves & Fishes, which feeds our hungry brothers and sisters during the holidays and all year round.
More details: www.meckmin.org; 704-565-5455.
Here are some other upcoming holiday events:
- Dec. 5: Franklin Graham and others from Samaritan’s Purse will lead a celebration of the 2.4 million shoe box gifts prepared in Charlotte for shipment to kids all over the world. 10:30 a.m. at the Operation Christmas Child Processing Center, 7100 Forest Point Blvd.
- Dec. 12-13: The Choir School at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church will present its popular Christmas concerts. 7:30 p.m. each night in the church sanctuary, 115 W. Seventh St. uptown.
- Dec. 16-17: The Congregation of Ohr HaTorah will mark the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah with two menorah lightings. 5 p.m. Dec. 16 at SouthPark Mall and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17 at Trade and Tryon uptown.