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Announcing the 35th Annual Houston Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

October 17, 2019

ANNOUNCING THE 35TH ANNUAL HOUSTON INTERFAITH THANKSGIVING SERVICE

Houston, TX (October 17, 2019) – On Thursday, November 21, at 7pm, the Rothko Chapel and Covenant Church have partnered with the Houston Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Committee to host the 35th Annual Houston Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at Covenant Church, located at 4949 Caroline Street, Houston, TX 77004.  Leaders and members of nine different faith communities from across the city will come together around the theme “The Network of Life.”  Through prayers, readings, chants, and reflections, representatives from Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jain, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, and Zoroastrian traditions will express both gratitude and a continued commitment to care for the earth, each other, and all that is living. This year’s theme serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of all living things: humans, animals, plants, natural elements, and our responsibility to be good stewards for each other and for future generations.

The interfaith service began 35 years ago in response to the bombing of a storefront mosque.  After helping to raise money to support the mosque’s repairs, the Annual Thanksgiving Service was created by co-founders, George Atkinson and Garland Pohl, to bring different faith organizations together, as thanksgiving is a common value shared by all the major world religions.  In reflection 35 years later, Atkinson shares, “we are trying to reach a deeper level of discourse. This is important in creating a fundamental human connection. We have to say that there is something within our traditions that points to something deeper, and our traditions are an effort to bring that to expression.” 

While the service has been held annually at the Rothko Chapel, this year, due to the current restoration project there, Covenant Church is serving as the host site. "We have a long history of holding services inside the Rothko Chapel and participating in the Interfaith Thanksgiving service,” said Laura Mayo, Senior Minister of Covenant Church, “so we are delighted to be able to hold the Houston Interfaith Thanksgiving Service in our space.”

This event is free and open to all, no registrations required, and will be followed by a public reception. More information can be found on Rothko Chapel’s website: http://www.rothkochapel.org/experience/events/event/35th-annual-houston-interfaith-thanksgiving-service-at-covenant-church/

“This annual service reminds us all that in the midst of the division and hatred which we, and so many people experience daily, there are gatherings such as these where different religions and parts of the community come together and celebrate our shared humanity. That is a powerful statement of unity and respect, making clear that we are stronger together than we are alone,” stated David Leslie, Executive Director of the Rothko Chapel.

About Houston Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Committee
The Houston Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Committee was formed in 1984 and has a rotating group of members from different religious communities in Greater Houston. Current members include George Atkinson, United Methodist; Riaz Masrour, Baha'I; Beth Kulkarni, Hindu; Alok Jain, Jain; Vehishta Kaikobad, Zoroastrian; Charlene Chuang, Buddhist; and Garland Pohl, Catholic.

About Covenant Church
Covenant Church affirms the sanctity, dignity, and equality of all human beings. We welcome persons of all racial and ethnic heritages, all sexual orientations, all gender identities, and all faith perspectives. We stand for each individual's right to worship God and to respond to God's call in their own understanding of God's love. We worship at 9am and 11am each Sunday morning.

About Rothko Chapel
The Rothko Chapel is closed through early 2020 for major renovations.  As part of its Opening Spaces campaign, the first phase of the project will realize a Welcome House and a new energy center; enhancements to the lighting and entryway in the Chapel; and new greenspaces for reflection will be added to the existing grounds. This event is one in a series of offsite programs presented by Chapel during the renovation.  For more visit: http://www.rothkochapel.org/experience/events/  

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