Bahai News -- Indians to join interfaith event

Indians to join interfaith event

HEMET: A Luiseno tribal elder will perform a traditional smudging rite before the service.



HEMET - At the first Thanksgiving, the colonists sat down to a feast with American Indians to give thanks for a bountiful harvest. Next week, as in that first Thanksgiving, Indians will participate in a spiritual feast during Hemet's Interfaith Thanksgiving service.

This year, as in past years, they continue to join the celebration, said Michael Madrigal, a member of the Cahuilla tribe in Anza and a lay minister at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at the Soboba Reservation. Madrigal, along with Billy Meza, a Luiseno tribal elder, will perform a traditional smudging ceremony outside the Church of Religious Science building where the service will be held.

"Smudging (with sage) is the Indian's purification rite to prepare the individual for worship," Madrigal said. The two also will offer prayers to the four directions. Madrigal says the prayers give thanks to the Creator and ask for blessings on all who live in each direction. Meza will also perform traditional Luiseno songs of worship.

"In this big and varied world there are many races, colors and religions and we should all be working together demonstrating religious tolerance," said Muriel Dufresne of Golden Era Productions. "Representatives of many faith traditions will be present and this is a wonderful opportunity for residents of this valley to get to know some of these just a little better."

During the ceremony a candle will be lit for every faith represented.

Religions expected to be included are Judaism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and Vedanta Hinduism. Local participants are expected from the Baha'is, Quakers, Indians, Church of Scientology, First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, United Methodists, Unity Church, Church of Religious Science, Islam and Unitarian Universalists.

For more information, call the Rev. Carrie Masters at (909) 658-5157 or the Rev. Betty Ryan at (909) 658-3019.

Reach Marilee Reyes at (909) 763-3473 or


What: Interfaith Thanksgiving service

Where: Church of Religious Science, Stetson and Girard avenues in Hemet

When: Sunday, smudging ceremony at 5 p.m., service at 6 p.m.

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