Breaking News Bar
updated: 11/24/2013 7:08 PM

Different faith groups gather in Aurora to say thanks

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Aurora University Chaplain Jonathan Dean speaks Sunday during the Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai. The offering collected during the service will be donated to the Interfaith Food Pantry in Aurora.

       Aurora University Chaplain Jonathan Dean speaks Sunday during the Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai. The offering collected during the service will be donated to the Interfaith Food Pantry in Aurora.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • The Interfaith Children's Choir sings during Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai in Aurora. The annual event brings together Aurora area residents from many faiths to give thanks.

       The Interfaith Children's Choir sings during Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai in Aurora. The annual event brings together Aurora area residents from many faiths to give thanks.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Gary Raymond of Temple B'nai Israel speaks during the Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai in Aurora. The annual event brings together worshippers from many faiths to give thanks.

       Gary Raymond of Temple B'nai Israel speaks during the Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai in Aurora. The annual event brings together worshippers from many faiths to give thanks.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Dr. Abbas Khawaja, representing the Muslin community, speaks during the Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai in Aurora. The annual event brings together worshippers from many faiths to give thanks.

       Dr. Abbas Khawaja, representing the Muslin community, speaks during the Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Temple B'nai in Aurora. The annual event brings together worshippers from many faiths to give thanks.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer

 
 

A feeling of sadness colored the otherwise joyful Interfaith Thanksgiving Service held Sunday at Temple B'nai Israel in Aurora.

The sadness was the result of the sudden death on Nov. 15 of the temple's Rabbi Shmuel Mann, who friends and colleagues say had been a driving force behind the annual interfaith event, now in its sixth year. Leaders from several different faiths praised Mann during the service.

Order Reprint Print Article
 
Interested in reusing this article?
Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.
The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.
Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Success - request sent close

"In so many ways, he changed Aurora for the better," said the Rev. Jeff Mikyska, pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church.

After paying tribute to their former colleague, the representatives from local Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Baha'i groups followed Mann's guidance by calling for peace among all people, regardless of their religious or cultural backgrounds.

"We are all the family of God -- brothers and sisters, regardless of our differences," Mikyska said.

Sunday's service featured short talks from the faith leaders, performances by two interfaith choirs and a celebratory meal. Monetary and food donations were collected for the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry.

Attendees also helped decorate two Gratitude Trees, which will be on display at the food pantry during the holiday season. The decorations were paper leaves on which people wrote down things for which they are thankful.

Gratitude was, in fact, a major theme of the evening. The Rev. Cyndi Gavin of St. John United Church of Christ said that in part, gratitude requires the ability to be thankful for the present moment.

"(That) makes you see that past regrets are only the necessary steps that brought you here," she said.

Ronald Raymer of the Aurora Jewish Renewal Congregation suggested that people recite blessings after their meals, rather than before. Doing so, he said, might cause people to be more thankful for what they have and more committed to help those in need.

Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner thanked those who organized and attended Sunday's service.

"This event reaffirms my believe that yes, we can put aside our differences, we can work together to better our community," he said.

Share this page
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here