On Sunday, November 18th, Fort Washington Church participated in the annual interfaith Thanksgiving service and dinner of the Washington Heights Community. At 3pm members from various houses of worship attended the joint service at Hebrew Tabernacle led by Rabbi Jeffrey Gale. Fort Washington hosted the interfaith community dinner that followed. We served over 300 members of different faith groups and members of the community. We had Christians, Jews and Muslims all fellowshipping together. We had a diverse community of elders, youth and families who came out for great food, music and conversation. Families with children were able to eat in the gym and then allow their kids to exercise some of their energy.
For Washington had a cohesive team of organizers who signed up volunteers to cook, serve, and donate food. Thanks to Connie Acquaah and her team, we collected all the food items needed to serve our community. Connie’s team prepared her much loved stuffing and Rabbi Gale’s favorite mashed potatoes. But, oh, the turkey! You have never tasted turkey like this! Sabas Whittaker with Elder Beverley Sheares and Karen Sheares presented a menu of different flavors that melted your taste buds. We had smoked barbeque turkey, ginger orange turkey, garlic lemon clove turkey, honey drizzled garlic turkey, spicy curry turkey and traditional turkey. The United Palace donated rotisserie chicken with yellow rice and peas from Malecon Restaurant. In addition, the participating houses of worship donated traditional and cultural foods, home made pies, cakes and dessert, and drinks.
We served in three locations this year, the Atrium, Fellowship Hall and the Gym for families with children. This made for a cozy but spacious gathering. Annette Padilla and Dinean Davis organized the volunteers from United Health Care, St. Elizabeth Church, Altagracia Faith, and our local Cub Scouts, Pack. Members from various youth groups came out to serve and be a part of the festivities.
By the end of the night, we had lots of food left, so volunteers took to the streets to give out plates of food. We continued to extend beyond our doors by contributing to the daily efforts of Holy Rood Church, which feeds the hungry in the area. Not only was this an opportunity to give back during a season where people are reminded to give thanks, but it was a chance to see that humanity and love still exist and love is on the move in Washington Heights.
Let us remember that there is no one season of giving--this is what God requires always.