Faiths join forces to give thanks
A Nuuanu church will host a service that has been held for 44 years
Christian, Buddhist and Jewish congregations in Nuuanu started a tradition 44 years ago by celebrating Thanksgiving together.
The tradition will continue Wednesday evening with the annual Interfaith Worship Service at Community Church of Honolulu, 2345 Nuuanu Ave., near the Wyllie Street intersection.
It is one of several events in which faith groups will gather together to give thanks for the blessings of the past year. All are open to the public.
Planners for the Nuuanu service say it is one of the oldest interfaith events in the country, not just the state. It has expanded beyond Nuuanu to include more than a dozen churches that take turns hosting the event. It has generated interfaith "firsts" such as the call to prayer last year by the Muslim imam which opened the service at the Jewish synagogue, Temple Emanu-El.
Thanksgiving services include:
» Tomorrow: The 17th annual Community Thanksgiving Service for Central Oahu will be at 5 p.m. at First Baptist Church of Wahiawa, 1233 California Ave., Wahiawa. The Rev. David Shon of Wahiawa United Church of Christ will speak, and the Wahiawa Community Praise Band and Choir will provide music. Nonperishable food items will be collected for food pantries in Wahiawa. The Wahiawa Ministers Association is sponsor.
» Wednesday: Gov. Linda Lingle will speak at the 7 p.m. Interfaith Worship Service at Community Church of Honolulu, 2345 Nuuanu Ave. The Rev. Dan Hatch, pastor of the host church, will speak. Scriptural readings and reflections will be presented by representatives of Nu'u Lotu Congregational Church, Temple Emanu-El, Hawaii Bahai Community and Honpa Hongwanji Mission of Hawaii. A massed choir from several denominations will sing. The free-will offering will support relief efforts for Pakistani earthquake survivors.
» Wednesday: Windward United Church of Christ, 38 Kaneohe Bay Drive, will be the site of the Community Thanksgiving Eve Celebration sponsored by the Windward Coalition of Churches. The 7 p.m. service will feature music by Briana Pratt of Windward UCC and the St. John's Lutheran Church hula group. The Revs. Tim and Diane Weible of Kailua Christian Church and Susan Thornett of Emmanuel Episcopal Church will speak. Canned goods will be collected for the St. Anthony Church food bank.
» Thursday: People from several Christian denominations will participate in the Thanksgiving Day Ecumenical Service at Central Union Church, 1660 S. Beretania St. Mayor Mufi Hannemann will give the message at the 9 a.m. service. Presenting music will be the Kawaiahao Church Choir, Advent Pentecostal Young Adult Quartet, Samoan Seventh-day Adventist Men's Gospel Heralds and Honolulu Boy Choir. Canned goods and monetary offerings will be collected for various food pantries serving the needy.