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Wakefield's Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Is Tuesday

Annual service is on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

The following was provided by Emmanuel Episcopal Church:

Wakefield’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving service will be held on Tuesday, November 20 at 7 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.  Organized by the town’s clergy and musicians, this year’s service will include scripture readings, prayers, choral anthems, and instrumental music.  Leaders from the Boston Love Korean Church, Emmanuel Episcopal Church, First Baptist Church, First Parish Congregational Church, Restoration Road Church, St. Florence Roman Catholic Church, Temple Emmanuel, the Unitarian-Universalist Society of Wakefield, and the Wakefield/Lynnfield United Methodist Church will all be participating.  The Thanksgiving service is the largest ecumenical and interfaith event held in Wakefield each year.

This year’s service will feature a Thanksgiving sermon offered by the Rev. Dr. Richard Weisenbach, long-time Senior Pastor of the First Parish Congregational Church.  The Interfaith Clergy Association invited Dr. Weisenbach to preach in honor of the fact that he will be retiring from First Parish in the spring of 2013.  His sermon will be a reflection on Psalm 103. 

Thanksgiving-themed music will be offered by a combined choir of the various houses of worship, under the direction of Michael Salvatore of Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Donna Burns of First Baptist, Don Hodgkins of First Parish, and Bob Wech of the Wakefield/Lynnfield United Methodist Church.  In addition to these music directors, Jeffrey Smith will also play the organ.  A string quartet of local musicians including David Parry and Peter Stickel on violin, Caroline Lieber on viola, and John Bumstead on cello will provide an instrumental prelude titled “Night in a Chippewa Village,” a medley of Native American folk melodies arranged by James Clemens.  The quartet will also accompany several hymns and anthems. Further musical highlights are the Hebrew anthem “Hava Nashira” by Johannes Ockeghem and two choral pieces composed by beloved local musicians: “Be Still” by the late June Patriquin, choir director and organist at First Baptist from 1950 to 1988, and “O Lord support us all the day long” by the late Gertrude Mellett, long-time choir director and organist at Emmanuel Episcopal Church.

A collection will be taken during the service to support the ministry of the Wakefield Interfaith Food Pantry, now in its 30th year.  Board President Wendy Dennis will describe some of the work of the Food Pantry, which provided food to 225 local families 2011 and has seen increased demand in recent years, with an average of 350 visits each month. 

“The annual Thanksgiving service is always special as communities and individuals of diverse faith traditions come together to give thanks to God for the many blessings of life,” said the Rev. Matthew P. Cadwell, Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church and President of the Wakefield Interfaith Clergy Association.  “Each year we try to highlight different voices and perspectives even as we pray to the same God of creation.  This year’s service will be unique in including music from Native American and Jewish backgrounds, as well as several traditional Christian hymns.” 

A festive reception hosted by parishioners of Emmanuel Church will follow the service in the church’s Parish Hall during which time participants and the congregation can greet one another and enjoy a variety of seasonal treats.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church is located at 5 Bryant Street (corner of Main and Bryant Streets), adjacent to the Veterans Memorial Common.  The church is handicapped accessible.  For more information, contact the church office at 781-245-1374 or eecw@verizon.net. 

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