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COMMUNITY-WIDE INTERFAITH 
THANKSGIVING SERVICE

Due to circumstances beyond MeckMIN’s control,
we deeply regret to announce that this evening’s Thanksgiving Service has been CANCELLED.

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While I was studying in Tokyo, I had to go through an experience that many young Americans face - my first holiday season away from my family. As one of the only Americans at the school, it was shaping up to be a

lonely Thanksgiving.

 

Instead of celebrating alone, I asked my other international friends to join me. They were reluctant at first, not understanding American traditions or foods. So, rather than ask them to make the foods we might expect for a traditional Thanksgiving, I asked them to bring a food that they would bring to family and friends back home. They instantly understood.

 

When Thanksgiving rolled around, we had an incredible wealth of food. My Malaysian friends brought

nasi goreng, my Spanish friends brought paella, Japanese friends brought karaage, and so much more.

A friend from Russia even helped me bake pumpkin pie from scratch!

 

As we celebrated together, my friends got a true understanding of what Thanksgiving means -

coming together across our differences and celebrating as a family.

 

Zach Surber
Senior Manager of Volunteer Services, Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region

and chair of the 2023 Thanksgiving Service Committee 

The committee planning this year's Interfaith Thanksgiving Service, has kept the image of Zach's story of his holiday in Japan in mind as we have pulled the event together. We've invited people from several communities who make up the larger Charlotte-Mecklenburg area to come and speak, sharing their unique perspectives and experiences. You'll also get the chance to share in several small group conversations with those around you to hear their perspectives and share your own.  You may "taste" things that are familiar along with things you've never tried before. You may be delighted, you may be challenged, you may even choose to leave some of it on your plate, but our hope is that you'll walk away full of the richness that comes when we authentically share our full selves with one another. 

Meet this Year's Speakers and Musicians

Click on the picture to access full bios

Other Service Participants

Ramona Moore Big Eagle (Tuscarora), CEO of Dare to Soar Enterprises, as well as a speaker, author, storyteller, cultural educator, consultant, and workshop facilitator. 

 

Rev. Steve Lindsley, the Senior Minister/Head of Staff at Trinity Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. 

 

Rev. LeDayne McLeese Polaski, Executive Director of MeckMIN and a member of Park Road Baptist Church. 

 

Rev. Amy Brooks-Paradise, President of the MeckMIN Board of Director and an organizer with GreenFaith.  

 

Ayya (Ven.) Sudhamma, the abbess and Resident Bhikkhuni of the Charlotte Buddhist Vihara.  

 

Rev. Dr. Paul A. McAllister, Founder and President of Global Leaders in Unity and Evolvement and a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte

 

The Friendship Missionary Baptist Liturgical Dancers 

2023 SPONSORS