By JEANNE SHANIN
Worshipers of different religions gathered to pray for peace at the Community Interfaith Thanksgiving Service held at Beth Israel Congregation of Sun City Center on Nov. 25. About 140 people from several faith communities braved a driving rain to join together in prayer for peace, respect and cooperation.
The service featured hymns, readings, a sermon by Rev. Dr. Timothy W. Shirley of United Community Church, a benediction by the Rev. Dr. Mark E. Salmon of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, and the singing of a nigun (a wordless song sung as a means of elevating the soul to God) led by Rabbi Carla Freedman.
An offering taken during the service collected more than $800, which was donated to Our Lady of Guadalupe Food Pantry in Wimauma. At the end of the service, many worshippers got up and danced to the melody of the nigun.
The joyous service confirmed that when people join together in celebration of shared values, our religious and community diversity is our strength.