As we approach Thanksgiving many of us are looking for connections to our family, friends, and community. This can be extraordinarily difficult these days in the midst of a pandemic. Faith Leader Pastor Serena Rice and Choral Director Ben Schroeder, of Abiding Peace Lutheran Church are putting together a virtual service and choral piece for Thanksgiving.
For quite a few years Pastor Serena Rice, Director Schroeder and the Abiding Peace Lutheran Church have been doing collaborative services for Thanksgiving. This year will be no different. On November 23, 2020 @ 7:30pm they will be releasing their first virtual Thanksgiving service including a choral piece. The service will be a virtual gathering of churches, synagogues and mosques.
These houses of worship include Abiding Peace Lutheran - Budd Lake, Mountaintop Church and Mountaintop Church Spanish Speaking - Mount Olive, Saint James Episcopal Church – Hackettstown, United Methodist Church of Flanders, Saint Elizabeth’s Catholic Church – Flanders, Islamic Society of North Jersey – Hackettstown, Temple Hatikvah – Flanders, Uniter Presbyterian Church of Flanders, New Beginnings Bible Church - Flanders
During my interviews with both Pastor Serena & Choral Director Schroeder we discussed their motivations and how the service came together. Pastor Serena told me the reason behind it is to share and recognize commonality between faiths by doing an Interfaith Worship service. Focusing on thanking god as a community, feeling like we are together even when we can’t be and thankfulness to have the ability to give back.
When Pastor Serena asked Director Schroeder to find a piece of music for the service he searched until he found the perfect piece. “I will give thanks to the Lord” by Lloyd Larson. They approached all of the religious leaders taking part and asked for vocal volunteers to learn the music and record their own part so that they can be edited together. Then they requested the help of one of their congregants, Ray Mueller, who’s a professional videographer to edit the piece together for the service.
The service is also created to raise money and food donations for the Mount Olive Food Pantry. Food Pantries are incredibly low at this time because there are so many people in need. Please, if you have the ability, monetary donations or non-perishable food can be directed to the Mount Olive food pantry. If you would like to donate, please visit their website or contact your house of worship. http://www.mountolivepantry.org/
The service will be available on youtube starting 11/23/2020 @ 7:30pm
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