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Community, local churches gathers to give thanks

Members of the St. James Episcopal Church worship team lead attendees in songs throughout the community thanksgiving service.

Members of the St. James Episcopal Church worship team lead attendees in songs throughout the community thanksgiving service. Erika Rudl

— Members of the Skaneateles community and congregants of seven different local churches came together on the Sunday before Thanksgiving to offer thanks, prayers and song in a joint worship service at St. James Episcopal Church.

The purpose of the service was to create “a chance for churches to be together, but also to open the doors of the church to the community, to the people who wouldn’t normally come on a Sunday morning,” said Becky Coerper, rector of St. James and member of the Skaneateles Ecumenical Clergy Association, which sponsored the event.

Clergy from all seven members of the Association attended the community thanksgiving service that was held on Sunday, Nov. 20: St. James Episcopal, St. Mary’s of the Lake, St. Andrews United Methodist of Mottville, Holy Trinity Lutheran, First Presbyterian, United Methodist Skaneateles and Grace Chapel.

Members of these different congregations came together to give thanks as the St. James music team led them in songs old and new and various clergy led them in prayers. Senior pastor Barry Sisson of Grace Chapel gave a message about being thankful amidst all circumstances and encouraged the congregation to write down the things they were thankful for and offer them to the Lord in worship.

The service was full of appreciative and joyful Christians that enjoyed worshiping as a community. Dan Sommers of St. James was impressed with the large turnout. He liked how each church represented was able to contribute to the service. “It was familiar and unfamiliar at the same time,” he said.

Kathleen Markley of Grace Chapel was similarly impressed. “A terrific service,” she said. “I really enjoyed seeing all the churches come together. I really wish we did it more often.” She felt that this was a good way to prove that “our faith binds us together … [and] we are confident that our identity is in Christ.”

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