Bahai News - Elgin's faithful give thanks Interfaith service a
show of unity
Elgin's faithful give thanks Interfaith service a show of
In a show of unity between people of all religions and cultures,
more than 200 people from 13 Elgin congregations gathered Tuesday
night for an interfaith Thanksgiving service.
Prayers and readings from the Quran, Baha'I Sacred Writings and
Christian scriptures were read during the service at First
Congregational Church on East Chicago Street. The choir from Second
Baptist Church led the crowd in both religious and patriotic songs.
Elgin Mayor Ed Schock issued a proclamation during the service
recognizing Tuesday as a "day for all people to reflect on shared
values and dreams."
The Rev. Don Shank, pastor at Highland Avenue Church of the
Brethren, discussed the purpose of bringing people of so many
different faiths together for the Thanksgiving service.
"Religious intolerance has been a blight on our human
civilization," Shank said. "We call our God by many names, but we all
believe God calls us together as brothers and sisters to live in peace."
Those in the audience at Tuesday's gathering offered money to
benefit Public Action to Deliver Shelter of Elgin, which offers
overnight sleeping space for the homeless in the winter months.
Remembering the less fortunate and being thankful for the gifts
people do have is what Thanksgiving is all about in any faith, said
Dr. Syed Anwar of the Islamic Community Center in Elgin.
"In the Muslim perspective, you give thanks every day," Anwar said
in his address at Tuesday's gathering.
Anwar also said Muslims must always appreciate the fact that their
Islamic religion is so closely linked with peace.
"Throughout history, religion has been abused and misunderstood -
some of the people use it as a source of power and dominance," he
said. "In the name of religion, many unjust wars have been fought,
but there is no place for prejudice ... under Islam."
Anwar, who was born in India, is a Board certified psychiatrist
who has lived in Elgin for the past 13 years. He is on the board of
directors at the Islamic Community Center; and is the assistant
medical director at Elgin Mental Health Center and medical director
for the psychiatric unit at Provena St. Joseph Hospital in Elgin.
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