The November 26 community wide Thanksgiving season gathering at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido attracted over 700 community members and raised donations of over $3,500 for the Interfaith Community Services organization of North County. A dozen or more different faiths were represented in the event.
After 30 years of traditional interfaith Thanksgiving service venues being rotated among the various churches within the community, the location shifted this year to the concert hall for the CCAE, a true community setting for this interfaith event.
The speakers included Yusef Miller of the Mosque of the Islamic Center of North County, Escondido Mayor Paul McNamara, the Rev. Federico Salas of Iglesia Latina Emanuel, Bahar and Maziar RefahiBa of Bahai, the Rev. Karla Halvorson from San Marcos Lutheran Church, the Rev. Michael Ratazczak of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Oceanside, Greg Anglea from Interfaith Community Services, the Rev. Holgie Choi from the First Congregational Church, Sister Mary Lou Carlson of the Roman Catholic Church, and the Rev. Sharon Wylie.
Vaughn North, one of the organizers of the event told The Times-Advocate, “The event was an effective reminder that we need to focus on our areas of common interest and belief, and always respect the right of freedom of worship in this country.”
The devotional was sponsored by Escondido Together clergy association, CCAE, the City of Escondido and Escondido Shines as part of the Rotary Club of Escondido.