Bahai News -- Thanks and giving: Frisco Multifaith service today

Thanks and giving: Frisco Multifaith service today

By: CORINA MILLER , Staff writer 11/21/2002

Giving thanks for life's blessings is an act that crosses all cultural barriers

The upcoming Service of Thanks and Giving sponsored by Frisco Multifaith and Frisco's Family Services Center reflects that ideal.

Set for 7 p.m. today at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, the event features prayers and passages of thanks from various holy writings. Members of Frisco Multifaith will read the passages and prayers.

Faiths to be represented at the event include Buddhism, Judaism, Native American spirituality, Islam, Baha'i, Hinduism and Christianity. In addition, the Frisco Chorale, All-City Choir and Earth Drummers will perform.

While the event is open to the public, guests are asked to bring canned goods, which will then be donated to Frisco's Family Services Center, an organization that provides assistance to families in need.

Deanna DeYoung, Frisco Multifaith chairperson, said the event reflects the purpose of Frisco Multifaith. A non-profit organization that consists of individuals from different religious backgrounds, the group strives to learn, share, pray and support one another while respecting individual religious beliefs. Meetings are designed to allow members to ask questions regarding other faiths. Events, such as the upcoming service, showcase the different religions that abound in Frisco.

The Service of Thanks and Giving marks the third event hosted by the group since its creation in September of 2001. Last April, Frisco Multifaith hosted a Seder Meal. The group also hopes to partner with Collin County Community College to celebrate World Religion Day in January, as well as host more citywide events.

DeYoung is pleased with the progress the group has achieved since its inception.

"Everything that has come to be with Frisco Multifaith has been amazing and important," she said. "It's been an awakening for Frisco of all the faiths that are in Frisco; it's really been a time of understanding. Now more than ever it's important to all of us to bring more awareness to the city."

Awareness is only one of the motivations behind the upcoming Service of Thanks and Giving. Members hope the event will also provide insight about the many religions and cultures that make up the Frisco population.

"It's also a family event," DeYoung added. "Children will enjoy it because of the choir and the drums. We know people in the group are trying to expose their children to different cultures."

The event also helps others pause and give thanks and is something that members of Frisco Multifaith hope to make an annual event much like the celebration held every year at Thanksgiving Square in Dallas.

"It is a time of thanks, and the whole service is about thanks and praise. And it's a time of giving, and we are giving to Frisco's Project for the Future," she said. "But more than that, we wanted to have the different faiths be represented."

Representing more than one faith is what makes the upcoming event special, added Frisco Multifaith member Rachna Prasad-Torres.

"There's so many of us in Frisco that don't have a church to go to, but we have so much to be thankful for, " she said.

Frisco Multifaith was formed shortly after terrorists attacked American landmarks on Sept. 11, 2001. According to the group's Web site, a group of Frisco residents from various religious backgrounds gathered together on Sept. 30, 2001 at the Preston Ridge Campus' Superdrome to hold a prayer service to both honor emergency personnel who responded to the attack as well as show support for police and fire department personnel.

"The purpose of the group is a place where you can openly ask questions," DeYoung said. "There's so much uncertainty and (some are) scared (because) you're hearing a lot of stuff about different religions. We want to be place where we could be supportive and ask questions."

Prasad-Torres said the prayer service and the formation of Frisco Multifaith also exemplified how a community can come together to face a crisis.

"For many in the group, Sept. 11 became somewhat of a religious issue," she recalled. "We felt everyone was hurting as a community, and people reached out to one another for different reasons. It was just a way for us to show community solidarity."

©Copyright 2002, The Frisco Enterprise

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