Bahai News - A seasonal tradition of ecumenical services continues across Oahu
A seasonal tradition of ecumenical services continues across
By Mary Adamski
"We hope there will be a place at the table for everyone," said the Rev.
The Nuuanu Congregational Church pastor was speaking to an interfaith
gathering Wednesday night, expressing not just Thanksgiving plans, but a
broader theological theme. He and other panelists explored how their
religious philosophies can be open to each other in the pluralistic
The church at 2651 Pali Hwy. will be the scene of an Interfaith
Thanksgiving Eve Service at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
The idea of sharing the holiday is 40 years old in the Nuuanu Valley
worshipping community. They started at a time when it was unusual for
Catholics to join Protestants at services, let alone having the
Buddhists of Honpa Hongwanji Betsuin and the Jewish congregation of
Temple Emanu-El join the Christians.
It's a theme that has become popular in modern times when diversity has
become a political goal, and never more avidly sought than the past two
months as people want to show a unified front in adversity.
This year, the Muslim Association of Hawaii will join the Nuuanu mix,
which also includes the Hawaii Baha'i Community, the Brahma Kumaris
(Hindu) Meditation Center and First Unitarian Church.
"We each bring a unique flavor and texture," Fujita said, comparing the
eclectic roll call to the ingredients in a stew.
Unitarian pastor Mike Young said, "The basic assumption that hovers in
back of each of us is that this is the only place where the truth is."
He instigated the preview session, attended by 50 people, with the goal
of deepening everyone's appreciation of the shared participation coming
up Wednesday night.
The message will be offered by Sister Joan Chatfield, a Maryknoll nun
who serves as a nongovernment organization representative at the United
Nations and was formerly active in ecumenical efforts here.
The 14 congregations represented in the program of music, readings and
prayers will also include Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Community
Church of Honolulu, Harris United Methodist Church, First United
Methodist Church, Nuu Lotu Congregational Church, Judd Street United
Church of Christ and St. Stephen's Church.
The service is open to the public.
Other ecumenical Thanksgiving services include:
>> Central Oahu Community Service. The Wahiawa Ministers Association
will sponsor a 7 p.m. Wednesday celebration of patriotism and
thanksgiving at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, 1403 California Ave. The
Rev. John L. Parish of Wahiawa Christian Church will speak. Food and
cash offerings will support the Wahiawa community food banks.
>> Windward Coalition of Churches. Thirteen congregations will gather at
7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Kailua United Methodist Church. "Give Thanks in
All Circumstances" will be the topic of the Rev. Al Miles, head of
chaplaincy services at the Queen's Medical Center. Attendees are asked
to bring canned goods for the food pantry at St. Anthony's Church, and
cash donations will benefit the coalition's Prison Scholarship Fund.
>> Honolulu. Central Union Church, scene of the longest-running
ecumenical Thanksgiving Day service, will host 10 congregations and
service agencies at a 9 a.m. Thursday program. "Transforming Tragedy
into Thankfulness" will be the theme. The Rev. Vaughn Beckman of First
Christian Church will speak, and the Honolulu Boy Choir will sing.
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