All Heart: Hundreds Gather at Bristol Thanksgiving Service

Two hundred people gathered at Saint Joseph Church on Wednesday, November 27th, giving thanks with neighbors of different faiths. This was the third time that members of the Bristol Area Association of Ministry partnered with the Interfaith Coalition in hosting the event. 

Combined adult, children’s and handbell choirs performed and instrumental accompaniment was provided by pianists, organists and brass players, all of whom donated their time and skills. 

Father Ivan Ramirez, of Saint Joseph Church, started the evening with a welcome in English and Spanish. Prayers and songs in multiple languages were offered, including a prayer shared in Algonquin by Nighthawk Flying, who represents four Native American nations. 

Van Monak Chhun, who runs Meals for our Neighbors, through the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, spoke of her gratitude to the church when they sponsored Monak’s family as refugees many years ago.  Dozens of bags of food for Meals for our Neighbors and $868 in cash donations for St. Vincent DePaul Shelter were collected.

Jewish, Hindu, Native American, Muslim, Baha’I and Christian pastors and priests, contributed prayers and readings throughout the service. 

The Bristol Interfaith Coalition’s next event will be on February 5th at the Bristol Public Library in conjunction with the Mayor’s Diversity Council. It will be a panel presentation with speakers from different religions. The panel will be titled “To Love Your Neighbor, Know Your Neighbor” and is presented by members of the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding. 

For more information about the Bristol Interfaith Coalition, please visit their Facebook page at or by email at

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