In what has become an annual pre-holiday tradition, clergy from a number of local congregations gathered at the United Church of Rockville Centre on the evening of Nov. 23 to lead residents in the village’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Service.
After a musical introduction that included the processional hymn of “We Gather Together,” accompanied by organist Lin Hong, the Rev. Dr. Robert Gunn offered a welcome to the guests who filled the pews of the venerable wood-beamed church at the corner of Morris Avenue and Hamilton Street.
Rev. Dr. Roger D. Johns of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church next led the congregation in the first reading and Rev. Gunn delivered the invocation. The combined choirs of the participating congregations then sang “One God,” an anthem, and Rev. Jeffrey Laustsen from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church followed by lighting a Candle of Hope.
“Eternal God of all peoples and races,” he read, “may all your children learn to live together in peace and friendship. Let the day come when oppression, discrimination, bullying and prejudice will be forgotten, and all the world filled with Your spirit.”
Cantor Rachel Kohlbrenner, from Central Synagogue of Nassau County, sang “A Simple Song,” and Msgr. William Koenig of St. Agnes Cathedral then led A Call to Repentance, followed by silent prayer.