Interfaith event to celebrate Thanksgiving season

Several religious and non-religious traditions will join together in Grand Rapids in a celebration of peace and gratitude during the Thanksgiving season.

The 16th annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration, coordinated by Grand Valley State University’s Kaufman Interfaith Institute, will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church (1100 Lake Drive SE) on Monday, November 23 at 7 p.m.

"While most of our interfaith events are education- or service-oriented, this is a unique opportunity to come together and simply celebrate a community holiday," said Katie Gordon, Kaufman Interfaith Institute program manager. "This service has representatives from various religious, spiritual and secular traditions who all share something that relates not only to thankfulness and gratitude, but also this year’s theme of 'Unity Through Diversity.'"

The Grand Rapids Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration has been celebrated annually since 2000. The event features participation from a wide variety of Christian denominations and representatives of Native American, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i, Buddhist, Hindu, secular and inclusive religious communities. Each year, the celebration includes prayers, music, sacred writings, reflections and meditation.

A collection will be taken for the East Paris Food Pantry, Congress Elementary School and Lutheran Social Services of Michigan. Attendees are asked to donate cans of non-expired, non-perishable food, winter clothes and coats or classroom supplies.

This event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (616) 331-5702 or visit the Kaufman Interfaith Institute's website.