Clergy, students, faculty and staff came together at Sacred Heart University’s annual Thanksgiving Interfaith Service in SHU’s Chapel of the Holy Spirit to celebrate the approaching holiday and share why they are thankful. Prior to the service, which was sponsored by Campus Ministry and the Office of Volunteer Programs & Service Learning, people placed boxes filled with non-perishable goods at the altar. The food was distributed to area needy before Thanksgiving.
Kareem Mebane, director of Volunteer Programs & Service Learning, said everyone should “take some serious time to reflect and say how thankful we are” during the holiday season. Mebane said that, while people are enjoying turkey and any number of side dishes and desserts, they should think about the “wonderful” things they can give to others and be thankful for the ability to give. “Be thankful for the ability to pray for those in need and to do something,” he said.
Leaders from various faiths—Catholicism, Judaism, Greek Orthodox, Muslim and Methodist—read psalms and prayers, and the SHU Liturgical Choir sang throughout the service.
Reverend James Midgley of the United Methodist Church in Ansonia offered a reflection, reminding those sitting in the pews to be thankful always. “Make sure your thankfulness always leads you to action,” Midgley said. “Moving your thankfulness into motion is the healthy thing to do. Think about where your gratitude can bring you.” He reminded everyone that, no matter what, God’s love is always present, and that is something for which to be thankful.
Adjunct Professor Rabbi Suri Krieger said there are many obvious things for which to be grateful, but recognizing routine things is not always easy. She went on to list what made her thankful, such as the sun coming up every day and fresh water. “I want you to sit back, close your eyes and think of things you take for granted every day,” Krieger said.
The SHU Liturgical Choir concluded the service with its rendition of Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You.