In the midst of nationwide political and religious tensions, last Thursday night, November 17, over 250 people attended the Poway Interfaith Team’s 2016 Thanksgiving program held at Temple Adat Shalom on Pomerado Road.  Members of the Jewish, Hindu, Unification, Muslim, Baha’i, Christian, Sikh and New Thought faiths spoke, and the attendees were entertained by Cantor Lori Frank and the Simchat Shabbat Band, The Community Church Joyful Awakening Band, and the Youth Choir from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The Color Guard from Troop 681 Presented the Colors and the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of the program, and the multi-faith congregation stood and sang God Bless America at the end.  A big thank you to the planning committee co-chaired by Cantor Lori Frank and Rev. Dr. Abigail Albert.

Rev. Dr. Stephen Albert, POINT’s 2017 President, announced that San Diego is the location for the 2017 NAIN ‘Connect’ conference and the Poway Interfaith Team is the lead host of the event.  For 4 days, August 6 – 10, 500 people from around the world will be gathered at UCSD to discuss, “HARMONY: Journey to One Heart.”  Mornings will be filled with keynote speakers and breakout sessions and in the afternoons the attendees will be bused to local faith centers and historic sites.  There will be many celebrations and the Mayors of the county’s 18 local cities and the County Board of Supervisors have or will be proclaiming the second week in August 2017, as the first “Interfaith Awareness Week.”  Dr. Albert showed the framed Proclamation they received from the County Board of Supervisors for this event.

“This will be the largest interfaith conference ever to be held in California!” Rev. Albert reported.  “All the interfaith groups in San Diego county are working together to make this unique conference special for all who attend.  We especially want to welcome our young adult leaders (18-35) to attend and dialogue with those who have been involved in the interfaith movement for some time.  Young people have more to offer us than just to teach us how to use our Smart Phones!” Albert joked.  “To that end, for every $200 donated to the Poway Interfaith Team, POINT will sponsor a young adult to attend the 4-day conference.”  Although registration for the conference does not start until mid-January, you can pre-register and save your space among the maximum of 500 attendees by going to: www.powayinterfaithteam.com/NAIN .

The Thanksgiving Service ended and the attendees stayed late speaking to and making friends with people from other faiths and enjoying the hospitality provided them by Allison Weisman, Bev Greenfield, Marion Yurow, Susan Hamilton, Kristie Perkins, Cathy Woolley and Lesley Meacham.  As one Muslim man stated, “I have never seen so many Muslims and people from other faiths so welcomed, loved and accepted as friends.  Rev. Albert closed with, “We are always in Interfaith Thanksgiving; WE ARE INTERFAITH AMERICA!