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20th annual interfaith Thanksgiving celebration held in Grand Rapids

Posted at 10:52 PM, Nov 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-25 22:59:32-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — For the last 20 years, people of all different faiths and backgrounds have gathered at St. Andrews Cathedral to celebrate the notion of giving thanks, and pay their respects to native culture who may not have the same positive outlook on the holiday with the Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration.

“It’s certainly a complicated holiday. Obviously for many it’s a time of great rejoicing and gratitude, and the wonderful privileges were given as a result of living in this free country. For others it’s a marker of a lot of the erasure of systemic and historical prejudices, biases, violence and colonialism,” Associate Director of the Interfaith Institute Kyle Kooyers said.

The event features speakers from all different backgrounds. From atheist to episcopal, to Jews and Muslims, many backgrounds are represented and celebrated.

“Although our experiences beliefs practices way of being citizens and neighbors in this community maybe look very different, there is still space for us in the world to come together,” Kooyers said.

This act of unification is what makes Grand Rapids a better place, organizers say.

“How do you intersect with Grand Rapids as home? What does it mean for you to be a neighbor in this community?" Kooyers said.

More than 100 people showed up Monday night.