About 150 people gathered at the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Olympia on Sunday afternoon for the Community Interfaith Thanksgiving celebration.
The service included songs by the Olympia Unitarian Universalist Choir; skits by children from Temple Beth Hatfiloh; and presentations by the Rev. Elizabeth O’Day from the Center for Spiritual Living, Ahmad Adi of the Islamic Center of Olympia, and Roy Wilson, a spiritual adviser and storyteller of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, among others.
O’Day said practicing gratitude on a daily basis can improve one’s health.
“We begin to build a brain that’s resilient,” she said. “… We’re reminded that life is good.”
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Interfaith Works, an Olympia nonprofit whose members represent a variety of spiritual beliefs and faith traditions, has sponsored the Thanksgiving celebration for about 30 years, according to board president Barnett Kalikow.
Every year, it brings together Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims and people of other faiths for a service of songs, prayers, poems, readings and talks.
“We all are striving for many of the same spiritual goals,” Kalikow said. “When we speak of gratitude and Thanksgiving, it doesn’t end there. It creates a certain obligation … to act in such a way to give someone else something to be grateful for.”
Larry and Jeannette Larson of Yelm said they’ve attended the service several times and consider it part of their Thanksgiving tradition.
“It’s a community, all-inclusive celebration,” Larry said.
“We’re grateful to be able to celebrate it with one another,” Jeannette added.
Free Thanksgiving celebration
The annual Barb’s Family & Friends Thanksgiving Dinner will be from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday at the United Churches, 110 11th Ave. SE, Olympia. The event will include a free, traditional Thanksgiving meal. Food baskets, clothing and warm coats also will be available. For more information, including ways to donate, call Rodney O’Neill at 360-485-9931.
Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 firstname.lastname@example.org @Lisa_Pemberton