Service at San Fernando Cathedral Underscores Religious Diversity

November 24, 2006

Author: Vincent T. Davis

Source: Express News

The sound of American Indians pounding a steady beat of "Amazing Grace" on drums opened an interfaith service that celebrated religious diversity Thanksgiving morning.

Women clad in festive dresses carried baskets of fruits and vegetables to the food-laden altar.

And worshippers of all faiths packed the pews inside San Fernando Cathedral to heed the call to pray for peace.

The theme was "Strangers no longer around the table," addressing the issues of the poor, migration, the environment and religious diversity.

This was the 15th year for the interfaith service.

Father David Garcia, rector of the cathedral, invited religious leaders from the Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Sikh, Buddhist, Bahai and American Indian communities to spread the message that all people have a place at the table. Thursday morning, the leaders stood side by side behind the altar, singing hymns of bounty for the world.