The public is invited to attend two special services in celebration of Thanksgiving this year at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue at the corner of Alamo Pintado Avenue in downtown Los Olivos.
On Tuesday, November 26, 2013, at 7:00 p.m., St. Mark’s and the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community will jointly co-sponsor the annual Santa Ynez Valley Interfaith Thanksgiving Service along with Bethania Lutheran Church and other faith communities of the area. According to St. Mark’s Priest and Rector The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, “We will be offering thanks from our various religious traditions, affirming our unity as grateful neighbors and all are welcome to attend.” This first time, an interfaith choir of volunteers from the community will perform under the direction of Beverly Staples. A complimentary reception will follow in Stacy Hall.
On Thursday, November 28, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.>, The Rev. Dr. Randall Day will be leading a traditional Thanksgiving Day service featuring special readings and familiar harvest hymns; an opportunity to express gratitude to God for all God’s gifts. Complimentary light refreshments will be served after the service in Stacy Hall. The service will last just under an hour.
The Rev. Dr. Day remarked, “We are happy to welcome all members of the community as well as visitors to join us in celebrating all our blessings of Thanksgiving during these two services this year. The holiday associated with Pilgrims and Native Americans has come to symbolize intercultural peace, opportunities for newcomers, and the sanctity of home and family.”
The annual Thanksgiving national holiday in the USA is believed to be modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth, Massachusetts and the neighboring Wampanoag Indians; and is particularly rich in legend and symbolism for those of all and any faiths.
About St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church: Formed in 1926 and serving the Santa Ynez Valley at its present location in downtown Los Olivos since 1979, St. Mark’s practices a spacious Christianity and welcomes people of all faiths or none. St. Mark’s is not only the home of a vibrant Episcopal congregation but also serves as a community center and meeting place for more than 60 organizations including the area’s Jewish worshippers, as well as Santa Barbara County Food Bank, Valley Community Theatre, various non-profits and 12-step recovery groups. The professional Preschool on-premises provide top-flight early childhood education. St. Mark’s actively supports the arts with musical concerts throughout the year as well as hosting exhibitions of photography, painting and art. St. Mark’s Cellar Classic annual auction of rare and fine wines supports all these community programs—the 5th annual Cellar Classic is set for Saturday, June 28, 2014. For more information, visit www.SMITV.org