1,000 celebrate 25th Interfaith Thanksgiving in Lincolnshire

 
 
Updated 11/22/2015 8:58 PM
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  • Rev. Denis Carneiro, left, walks with Rabbi Jeff Pivo as a procession enters the auditorium during the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration by the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Sunday at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Ten area houses of worship came together representing synagogues and churches for the service.

      Rev. Denis Carneiro, left, walks with Rabbi Jeff Pivo as a procession enters the auditorium during the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration by the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Sunday at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Ten area houses of worship came together representing synagogues and churches for the service. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Kathy Ryg of Vernon Hills sits with her granddaughter, Alice Knowles, 3, during the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration by the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Sunday at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Ten area houses of worship came together representing synagogues and churches for the service.

      Kathy Ryg of Vernon Hills sits with her granddaughter, Alice Knowles, 3, during the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration by the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Sunday at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Ten area houses of worship came together representing synagogues and churches for the service. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

  • Rabbi Ilana Baden of Temple Chai speaks during the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration by the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Sunday at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Ten area houses of worship came together representing synagogues and churches for the service.

      Rabbi Ilana Baden of Temple Chai speaks during the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration by the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Sunday at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. Ten area houses of worship came together representing synagogues and churches for the service. Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

Ministers walked with rabbis and priests walked with cantors as a procession of clergy entered the 25th Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration organized by the The Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council Sunday at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire.

Almost 1,000 people attended this year's ceremony as ten local houses of worship came together for an interfaith service that included area synagogues and churches of different denominations.

"We are gathering together to show that people of different faiths can get together and do good deeds and work together," said Jonane Dicker, president of the council. "I think it's a wonderful testament of people working together and wanting to share good fortune."

The annual service grew out of a wish to counter racism and bigotry in the suburbs. Religious leaders in the area formed the Interfaith Council in 1990, after anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered at a Jewish temple and at the Jewish Community Center in Buffalo Grove.

They've been hosting a Thanksgiving service ever since, growing from an audience of about 180 at the inaugural gathering to more than 1,800 last year at St. Mary Parish.

One of this years speakers was Rabbi Ilana Baden of Temple Chai, who said, "We are each unique beings, with unique thoughts, personalities and practices. Yet, we are bound together by the fact that we were born on this planet and have within us a spark of the divine. Therefore we must take care to remember to give thanks."

This year's service was moved to Stevenson High School, after having been held in past years at council members' houses of worship, in anticipation of perhaps an even larger turnout.

Today, the council consists of 10 Northwest suburban faith communities: St. Mary Parish, Hope Lutheran, Kingswood Methodist, Congregation Beth Am and B'nai Shalom in Buffalo Grove; Shir Hadash Synagogue in Wheeling; Congregation Beth Judea and Temple Chai in Long Grove; St. Alphonsus Church and the Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd in Prospect Heights; and St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights.

In addition to the service, organizers Sunday hosted a canned goods drive to assist local food pantries.

While the service is the interfaith council's major annual event, it is active year-round, with events including a 5K run/walk to raise money for food pantries, and trips communities devastated by natural disasters.

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