Churches join for holiday service
HUNTINGTON -- The Thanksgiving holiday is still a few days away, but several downtown congregations got a jumpstart Sunday.
Members of varying faiths joined at Central Christian Church on 5th Avenue for an evening of fellowship and worship during the annual Community Thanksgiving Service.
The service, which brings together followers of Christian, Islamic and Jewish faiths, is an opportunity to learn more about one another and how they can work together to improve their community, said The Rev. Kevin Snow, pastor of Central Christian Church.
"It seems like Huntington and our nation as a whole is rapidly diversifying, both culturally and religiously," Snow said. "There's so much religious conflict around us that it's important for us to make the effort to eat together and worship together."
Participating congregations included B'Nai Sholom Congregation, Central Christian Church, Ebenezer United Methodist Church, Fifth Avenue Baptist Church, First Baptist Church, First Congregational Church United Church of Christ, First Presbyterian Church, First United Methodist Church, Johnson Memorial United Methodist Church, Muslim Association of Huntington, St. George Greek Orthodox Church, St. Joseph Catholic Church, St. Paul Lutheran Church and Trinity Episcopal Church.
After a potluck dinner, the service included readings from the New Testament, Quran and Hebrew scriptures, a brass quintet and a Thanksgiving sermon led by Rabbi Jean Eglinton.
Eglinton's message during the service was to remember to pray for those who are suffering when you are happy. She said she was honored to be the featured speaker as it was her first time attending an interfaith service in Huntington.
"It's obvious that Christians, Jews and Muslims are doing horrible things to one another around the world, so it's supremely important that when we can talk, pray and eat together, we do it and cultivate it further," she said.
The offering during the service benefited Huntington Area Habitat for Humanity. Six downtown churches of different denominations have joined to build another Habitat house.