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Light Shines Through the Snow at the Mountaintop Interfaith Community Thanksgiving Service

Written By Editor on 11/18/22 | 11/18/22

There was a beautiful light dusting of snow last Tuesday night as people from the mountaintop community entered the historic Hunter Synagogue. Faith leaders from around the mountaintop hosted the first indoor thanksgiving celebration in three years, reviving the beloved tradition of songs, inspirational readings, and wisdom from the ages.

The Thanksgiving service began with around sixty people braving the first snow of the year in the beautiful setting of the historic Hunter Synagogue. This pristine Queen Anne style synagogue with elaborate interior woodwork constructed between 1909 and 1914 is listed in the National Register of Historic Places

Thirty years ago, the Mountain Top Interfaith Community was formed to bring people of all faiths together on the mountaintop, striving to build an interfaith community on the values of trust, faith and the belief that together we can build a better world.

Eight Faith Groups were represented, each with a unique and an inspirational message.  Songs and hymns were sung.  Prayers, blessing and inspiring readings set the tone for a joyful reminder of what is possible when we come together in peace, love and common purpose.

The theme of gratitude and outreach defined the evening as each speaker brought us wisdom from their tradition. In a world filled with such discord and violence, there is a transformative way to heal.  Look to the light within and look to the light in your neighbor’s heart. Hold together and change will come when we have the courage to unlock our true natures though giving and compassion.  We are all part of and stewards of our larger community. 

We were pleased to welcome our newest member, Pastor Ivan Kaszczak of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church in Jewett.  He thanked the community for its strong support of the Ukrainian people here in the US and in Ukraine. He reminded us of how important it is to light the flame of hope and unity amongst all people of goodwill and what that means to those in peril. To know in the darkest hours that a light still shines. 

The Presenters:

Carol Slutzky-Tenerowicz, Hunter Synagogue, 

Father Jay Atherton/Father. Kyle, Sacred Heart-Immaculate Conception Parish

Cathy Farrell, Sacred Heart-Immaculate Conception Parish

Greg Lubow, Hunter Synagogue

Barbara Swanson, Church of All Angels

Rev. Peggy Fabrizio, Kaaterskill United Methodist Church

Sr. Irene Miller, Peace Village

Platte Clove Community

Janet Reale, Dharma Teacher Order/Vietnamese Zen

Pastor Ivan Kaszczak, St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Church

Service is the underlying principle that guides our actions.  Annual Offerings were collected and will go to a fund, administered by the Wellness Rx Charitable Foundation.  The money will be used to assist mountaintop folks with emergency heating needs throughout the long winter 

The generosity of the group far exceeded all expectations, with over $2,700 collected from those assembled!

The Wellness Rx Charitable Trust focuses on helping the poor, and anyone who is immediately in need of assistance.  The Rx Charitable Trust will administer the emergency heating fund.  Once a connection is made with a potential recipient, an evaluation of their needs and financial status is made and recorded confidentially.  Once approved, the Trust contacts the service provider, on behalf of the recipient.

If you were unable to attend but would like to participate, checks can also be made out to Mountaintop Interfaith Community and mailed to PO Box 139, Tannersville, NY 12485.

We would like to thank Jay and Joe at WPRX for their continued support of all good causes on the mountaintop and Matt, editor of this paper who is always ready to spread the word to the community he serves.

The Mountaintop Interfaith Community mission is to inspire the cooperation of all faith groups on the mountaintop by promoting harmony, understanding, and collaboration in the communities we serve. By working together while recognizing the common threads of all faiths, we will create a vibrant, engaged community of friends and neighbors.

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