Verona Celebrates Interfaith Thanksgiving

By on November 19, 2018

There were old faces and new at Verona’s annual interfaith Thanksgiving service on Sunday afternoon. The leaders of long-time congregations Our Lady of the Lake Church, First Presbyterian Church of Verona and the Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit welcomed the Verona Islamic Center, which opened in town only this year, and B’nai Shalom, the West Orange synagogue that welcomed many of the Verona residents who had worshipped at Temple Beth Ahm before it closed.

The well-attended service at OLL opened with the reading of President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation establishing a national day for giving thanks, which was read by Jasmine Awad of the Verona Islamic Center. There were readings and reflections in English, Hebrew and Arabic, a choir that drew from all of the houses of worship, and a sharing of the greetings of peace common to the congregations. Attendees brought donations of non-perishable food and toiletry items for the Holy Spirit Verona Food Pantry and gathered in OLL’s cafeteria for fellowship after the service.

Imam Ahmed Zein (right) of the Verona Islamic Center chanted a prayer in Arabic, which was then translated by Mohamed Hegazy.

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