Muslims, Christians and Jews from team up to clean up the Earth

Muslims, Jews and Christians from Lake County collaborated to pick up trash on the Des Plaines trail at 5 a.m. on May 25.

Before the walk, Pastor Ben Squires from Bethel Lutheran Church in Gurnee, Imam Azfar from Islamic Foundation North in Libertyville and Rabbi Ari Margolis from Congregation Or Shalom in Vernon Hills emphasized the significance of caring for God's creation and the strength that comes from uniting as one human family, as all are children of Adam.

Their bond grew stronger as they shared a hearty breakfast afterward.

"For me, this isn't just some interfaith program with a once-in-a-while activity," Pastor Squires said. "It is an expression of friendship and bonding we have been building over the years, being part of each other's lives and communities. The dedication of our Muslim friends to their dawn-before-sunrise prayer inspired us, Christians and Jews, to accept their invitation to walk with them. And truly, we walk with one another in this community ... knowing this is our shared community."

"It's even more important now for us to be in connection with one another," Rabbi Margolis said. "Our three traditions focus on acts of kindness that take care of the environment and those who are most vulnerable. Focusing on service to our world is one way to bring us together and build connections that can bring a little more peace to our world that is in desperate need of peace."

"What a joy to spend my morning with Pastor Ben Squires, Imam Azfar, Rabbi Margolis and an assortment of their congregants at an interfaith walk this morning," Lake County Board member Carissa Casbon said.

Nico from VIP fitness led the multi-faith congregation in warmups and cool down.

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