Interfaith Thanksgiving And Peace Event
Source: The Buffalo News
To Be Held At Villa Maria
Publication date: 2000-11-18
Arrival time: 2000-11-19
"Let There Be Peace on Earth" will be the theme of the annual
intercultural-interfaith Thanksgiving observance at 7 p.m. Monday at
Villa Maria Academy, 600 Doat St., Cheektowaga.
The service, co-sponsored by the National Conference for Community and
Justice and the Network of Religious Communities, will be one of several
ecumenical and community events held locally to celebrate Thanksgiving.
Lana Benatovich, Conference executive director, said the interfaith
observance will be led by high school students and other teens
representing the Bahai, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim,
Native American, Sikh and Unitarian faiths.
"They will pass down to other participants messages they have learned
from their own faith traditions about how to live together peacefully,"
Villa Maria was selected as the site for the hourlong service because
the Felician Sisters who operate the school have designated the Villa
Maria complex, including Villa Maria College and Villa Maria Academy, as
a "Peace Site."
"Peace and thanksgiving go together," Benatovich said. "During a period
of world turmoil, we should be thankful for what we have and for the
gifts that we can give to each other and to our community."
Benatovich noted that for the first time since the interfaith service was
initiated 18 years ago, it is being held outside the City of Buffalo
because the committee wanted to hold it at the "Peace Site."
"Villa Maria (at Doat Street and Pine Ridge Road) is on a street that
connects the city and suburbs," she noted.
One of more than 300 such centers nationwide, the "Peace Site" serves as
a place where emphasis is put on education for peace and where peace
programs and plans are initiated, reinforced and expanded.
Monday's keynote speaker will be Tushar Kansal, a Nichols School senior
who also serves as a member of the Conference board. "Let Peace Begin
With Me: Thanksgiving 2020" will be the title of his talk.
The service also will include an appearance by the Villa Maria Gesture
Group, 14 girls who will perform liturgical movement to the "Prayer of
St. Francis," and the music of "Chosen," a Gospel choir consisting of
six youngsters from various Baptist churches.
Donations of nonperishable food will be given to the Villa Maria Food
Pantry for distribution to poor people.
In addition to the interfaith event, other ecumenical and community
Thanksgiving services and related events have been announced:
* North Buffalo residents will participate in a "Praise and
Thanksgiving" community service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in St.
Margaret's Catholic Church, 1395 Hertel Ave.
The program of music and readings will be sponsored by five
churches plus several community and service organizations, including the
Kenmore-North Buffalo Food Panty. Those attending are asked for a donation
of nonperishable food or cash to benefit the food pantry.
* The Eggertsville-Snyder Ministerium will sponsor its annual
Community Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Ascension Lutheran
Church, 4640 Main St., Amherst.
The service, planned by nine churches, will include prayers,
Scripture readings and music. Participants will include the Amherst
High School Concert Chorale and the Bells of Praise from St. Paul's
Lutheran Church. The Rev. Barbara Price of St. Peter's Episcopal Church,
Eggertsville, will deliver the message.
Food and cash donations will be accepted to benefit the food
pantry at University Presbyterian Church.
* The Ken-Ton Clergy Association will hold its annual Thanksgiving
Worship Service at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Kenmore Baptist Church, 10
Wardman Road, Kenmore.
The service will be preceded at 7 by a concert by the Sounds of
Joy, a contemporary musical group from Kenmore United Methodist Church.
* The Elma Community Thanksgiving Eve Service, an ecumenical
event, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in St. Vincent de Paul
Catholic Church, 6441 Seneca St., Elma.
The Rev. Robert Wood, parochial vicar of Annunciation Catholic
Church, Elma, will preach. Canned goods will be collected for
distribution by FISH of the East Aurora Food Pantry. Cash donations
will be given to the Interfaith Hospitality Network.
* The Greater Olean Association of Churches will sponsor a
community Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. Sunday in Mount Zion
Christian Assembly, 361 Front St., Olean.
The Rev. John Bartz, senior pastor of Christ United Methodist
Church, will preach on "Developing an Attitude of Gratitude." A social
will follow the service.
* The Williamsville Clergy Association will hold its annual
Community Thanksgiving Worship Service at 7 p.m. Tuesday in North
Presbyterian Church, 300 N. Forest Road, Amherst.
The Rev. Tom Evans, senior pastor at North Presbyterian Church,
will deliver the message. The service, open to everyone, will be
sponsored by 16 churches, temples and organizations in the
* The Twin Cities Ministerial Association will sponsor an
interfaith community Thanksgiving Worship Service at 5 p.m. Sunday in
the shelter at Gateway Harbor Park, beside the Erie Canal, in North
The Rev. Dr. James N. Brewster, pastor of Tonawanda United
Methodist Church, will deliver the message. Music will be provided by
the Praise Band from Tonawanda Free Methodist Church.
The 30-minute, outdoor service will be held regardless of weather
conditions. Those attending are asked to bring canned goods or
nonperishable food that will be given to the North Tonawanda
Community Food Pantry.
©Copyright 2000, The Buffalo News