Carmel Interfaith Alliance Thanksgiving service aims to unite


It seems fitting that the Carmel Interfaith Alliance is holding its Interfaith Thanksgiving service at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla in Carmel.

An anti-semitic graphic was found at that Carmel synagogue in late July. Nazi symbols were spray painted on a brick shed.


“This is an important time after what happed with the killings in Pittsburgh (at a synagogue) and what happened here (with the vandalism) that we show our togetherness,”  Carmel Interfaith Alliance founder Jerry Zehr said. “It think that will be a wonderful way for us to join together from all of our faith traditions in Carmel, showing our oneness and love of God and love of humanity.”

The hour-long service is set for 4:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at Congregation Shaarey Tefilla, 3085 W. 116th St.

“We’ll be having scriptures, songs and readings from different faith traditions,” Zehr said.

The three speakers, who will speak for approximately five minutes each, will be Reverend Father William John Bartz of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Rabbi Benjamin Sendrow of Congregation Shaarey Tefilla and Dr.  Rahila Qazi of Al Salam Foundation.

“They are going to share to their experiences how they related to people of other faith traditions for questions about faith,” Zehr said.   

Rabbi Sendrow was a police chaplain in Florida. Rev. Father Bartz was a military chaplain.

Anita Lerche, an internationally acclaimed singer, songwriter and composer from Indianapolis, will sing in the Hindu tradition at the service. Also performing will be a singing and percussion ensemble from St. Peter’s United Church of Christ and the Sikh children’s choir.

The service is free and open to the public. Zehr said visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable item to donate to area food bank.


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