Happy Environment-Themed Interfaith Thanksgiving!

happy environment themed interfaith thanksgiving

In an inspiring display of interfaith environmental activism, Thanksgiving is proving to be a perfect opportunity to share more than just a dinner and a prayer. Serving as a perfect witness to this, the annual Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service was held last Sunday in Summit, New Jersey.

Held at Congregation Ohr Shalom, the Summit Interfaith Council and Congregation Ohr Shalom-SJCC invited their entire community to attend. Rabbi Avi Friedman and Cantor Janet Roth of Congregation Ohr Shalom coordinated this year’s annual Summit Interfaith Thanksgiving event. The Summit GreenFaith Circle also helped plan the service, which was centered around the theme of the environment.

Giving Thanks for Our Environment

With an “environmental fair” both before and after the service, many local groups committed to protecting the environment set up exhibits to share with participants. Groups offering exhibits included the Summit Environmental Commission, the Summit Conservancy, Summit Recycling Advisory Committee, Briant Park Olmsted Conservancy, Summit Community Garden, Summit Shade Tree Advisory Committee, and Summit Free Market.

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Sharing Encouragement to Become Better Stewards

Not only was there a moving, inclusive worship service and inspiring musical selections, but Reverend Fletcher Harper, GreenFaith’s executive director, delivered the keynote address. Rev. Harper is an Episcopal priest who leads GreenFaith, an Interfaith Coalition. GreenFaith is committed to guiding houses of worship, religious schools, and people of all faiths to become better stewards of the environment.

An award-winning spiritual writer, and nationally recognized preacher on the environment, Rev. Harper teaches about the moral and spiritual basis for environmental stewardship and justice. Reverend Emilie Boggis of Summit Unitarian Church also spoke at the Thanksgiving Interfaith service as president of the Summit Interfaith Council. Mayor Ellen Dickson offered her comments, as well. The worship service was overseen by Reverend Don Steele of Central Presbyterian Church, who is also Vice President of the Summit Interfaith Council.

Growing a GreenFaith Circle

The Summit GreenFaith Circle is a newly formed coalition of Summit area faith communities. They have been working together since June to inspire stewardship of the environment throughout the Summit area. To date, the coalition includes Congregation Ohr Shalom, Central Presbyterian Church, Christ Church, United Methodist Church, Summit Unitarian Church, and Interweave.

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(Image Source: NJ Independent Press. Pictured (back row, from left) are: Rabbi Ruth Gais (Congregation Ohr Shalom – Summit JCC), Pastor Shawn Callender Hogan (United Methodist Church), Reverend Charles Rush and Dr. Marian Glenn (Christ Church), Gabriel Ertsgaard (Christ Church and Scholar in Residence at Reeves Reed Arboretum), and Marjorie Fox (Congregation Ohr Shalom); (front row) Christie Zipfel (Interweave), Bill Glancy (United Methodist Church), Mimi Zukoff (Congregation Ohr Shalom), Susan Haig (Central Presbyterian Church), and Lana Antar (Pastor, Trinity United Church, Warren / member Christ Church))

Offering You Our Deepest Thanks!

Everyone at EdenKeeper.org wishes all of our readers a very Happy Thanksgiving, and we extend to you all our deepest thanks and appreciation for your friendship and loyalty! As EdenKeeper marks a first anniversary at this same time, we are gratefully aware of the blessings you all have showered upon us. May you all be wrapped in the rich blessings of our Creator, and may we all be blessed with ample to share!

Happy Thanksgiving!
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About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid (Birth-name Kathleen Vail) is a freelance lifestyle and environmental science writer currently living in Vancouver, BC. Her interests include environmental conservation, climate science, renewable energy, faith-based environmental activism, sustainable economics, corporate social responsibility, creative lifestyles, and healthy living.