It is again time for us to gather as a community and offer thanks for the blessings which we enjoy in such abundance. While we include such prayers in our daily worship, they are offered by Jews and cast in exclusively Jewish language. Once each year we assemble as an interfaith congregation, each person just a little uncomfortable, to celebrate the shared bounty of the year past and join in expressing our aspirations for a bountiful year ahead.
Two things make this year’s service a little different. First, it is once again Agudas Achim’s privilege to host the interfaith service. Our friends from Westminster Presbyterian and Trinity United Methodist (as well as those from Baptist Temple and Beverley Hills United Methodist) will be our guests in a service I will be planning. We have the opportunity to be hosts as well as participants in the service and the social hour following.
Second, we will be honoring Vola Lawson, and giving thanks for her tenure as City Manager of Alexandria. Vola is retiring shortly after a lifetime of public service in various roles. Her term as City Manager has been one of extraordinary growth and development for Alexandria, and her attention to the most important elements of community life – the relationships among people – has facilitated an unprecedented period of good will and cooperation among the diverse citizens of our city. Even when there has been conflict (and where there are people, there is conflict), Vola’s compassion and common sense have almost always helped find a path to happy resolution. Please join us as we give thanks for Vola and what she has meant to our city and our congregations.
Not every day has been happy and not every person has been untroubled in the year behind, but life has been exceeding good to us, and it is appropriate to spend these moments in prayerful gratitude, impelling us to share our blessings with others. Join us on erev Thanksgiving, Wednesday, November 24, at 8:00 pm at Agudas Achim.
On the Sunday evening preceding, November 21, you can help to deepen our friendships among the members of Westminster and Trinity by participating in the (kosher) progressive dinner to be held at the three houses of worship. See details elsewhere in The Bulletin.
Now is the time to begin bringing supplies for winter to the synagogue. Please remember we are hoping to collect from each family a Polarfleece blanket, a jug of bottled water and a large candle (ideally in a fire-proof container). If they are needed by those seeking shelter in the event of a power failure on the first of the year, we will have them. After that, we will donate them to local shelters and relief organizations.