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St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church Announces Two Special Thanksgiving Services

The public is invited to attend two special services in celebration of Thanksgiving this year in the Santa Ynez Valley.

On Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m., the annual Santa Ynez Valley Interfaith Thanksgiving Service co-sponsored by St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church and the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community will be held at Bethania Lutheran Church, 603 Atterdag Road in Solvang.

Representatives from Bethania Lutheran Church, Pine Mountain Buddhist Temple, Old Mission Santa Ines Roman Catholic Church, Islamic Center of Lompoc, St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church and the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community will join together in offering thanks. A complimentary reception follows in the church hall.

According to St. Mark’s priest and rector the Rev. Dr. Randall Day, “We will be sharing gratitude from our various religious traditions, affirming our unity as grateful neighbors. All ages and faiths are welcome to attend.”

On Thursday, Nov. 27 at 9 a.m., the Rev. Dr. Randall Day will be leading a traditional Thanksgiving Day service at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church at 2901 Nojoqui Ave. at the corner of Alamo Pintado Avenue in downtown Los Olivos. The service will feature special readings and familiar harvest hymns; an opportunity to express gratitude to God for all His gifts.

Complimentary light refreshments will be served after the service in Stacy Hall. The service will last just under an hour.

The Rev. Dr. Day remarked, “We are happy to welcome all members of the community as well as visitors to join us in celebrating all our blessings of Thanksgiving during these services this year. The holiday associated with Pilgrims and Native Americans has come to symbolize intercultural peace, opportunities for newcomers, and the sanctity of home and family.”

The annual Thanksgiving national holiday in the United States is believed to be modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth, Mass., and the neighboring Wampanoag Indians; and is particularly rich in legend and symbolism for those of all and any faiths.

— Laura Kath is a publicist representing St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.

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