The Wellington Interfaith Thanksgiving Service drew more than 150 people to Temple Beth Torah on Tuesday, Nov. 21.
The synagogue joined with St. Peter’s United Methodist Church in presenting the service, which featured combined clergy and choirs from both houses of worship.
Rabbi Andrew Rosenkranz welcomed everyone, as did Temple Beth Torah President Jeffrey Sharkey. Rev. Emily Denmark McGee, associate pastor at St. Peter’s, delivered the message “Oh, Thank God,” a sermon about being thankful for the basic things in life.
The two congregations have a connection going back to the beginning of the Wellington community, when they both didn’t have buildings and held services at St. David’s-in-the-Pines Episcopal Church, McGee noted.
“When the sanctuary at St. Peter’s was built, it became home to Temple Beth Torah on the High Holy Days until their building was completed,” she said. “From shared space to shared spirit, Rabbi Rosenkranz and I planned a service where friends and neighbors could worship God together and celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in unity.”
Rosenkranz said the service was designed to further the mutual goals of promoting love and charity in the community.
“Our relationship developed through our collective work with the Wellington Interfaith Committee, and we are proud to continue this work together to promote justice and harmony in our community,” Rosenkranz said. “The evening was beautiful. Congregants from both houses of worship gave thanks for the freedoms we enjoy as Americans. We look forward to continuing this wonderful tradition in years to come.”
St. Peter’s Choir Director Ann Petersen directed the combined choir, while Anne Hlasnicek from Temple Beth Torah provided the accompaniment. Jazz pianist and St. Peter’s Praise Team Director Copeland Davis played a rousing patriotic prelude.
Cantor Jennifer Duretz Peled sang a solo, and she also sang a duet with Nancee Sharkey. Rabbi Matan Peled and Rabbi Erica Rosenkranz also participated in the service.