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 About Our 25th Annual and Final
InterfaithThanksgiving Sunday Family Ritual Meal
[A Thanksgiving Interfaith Event has since continued the tradition in various formats.]
Universal Academy Islamic School of Kansas City, 2009 Nov 22 Sunday 6-8p
Cost: $25 per adult, $20 child

[This is the annual announcement. Below is an list of award recipients in the last eleven years of the dinner.]

The CRES event features brief greetings from American Indian, Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian (Protestant and Roman Catholic), Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Sikh, Sufi, Unitarian Universalist, Zoroastrian, and FreeThinker community leaders.

A full thanksgiving feast, the evening celebrates the American heritage and recognizes our shortcomings. This Kansas City tradition demonstrates our commitment to expanding the American ideals to include the religious adventure of the entire human family.

The participation of children who ask why 11 kinds of food are upon the table emphasizes connecting the heritage of the past with our hopes for the future. “This full Thanksgiving meal includes foods symbolizing the American heritage,” says David E Nelson who chairs the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council. “But while Pilgrims’ deliverance from religious oppression can be celebrated, our proud heritage is stained by oppressing Native Americans, blacks, and others, and we must now place the American ideals of freedom and hope in the context of the religious adventure of the entire human family,” he said.

Children ask questions, such as, “Why do we eat cranberry sauce?” and “Why do we have pie?” and adults answer from the script. The texts for this observance include William Bradford’s History of the Plymouth Plantation. There are 81 short parts, including traditional Thanksgiving hymns.

The ceremony with the meal lasts about two hours. The meal is complete, with the traditional turkey, cranberry sauce, pie, and all the fixin’s, and a vegetarian option.

This year we give special thanks for Cynthia Siebert, founder and president of the Friends of Chamber Music. Her local, regional, and national leadership, offers the transformative power of music through programs of the highest quality enriching and enlarging the spirit. We also give special recognition to Susan Cook for bringing the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) to Kansas City this year, strengthening interfaith work here and throughout the continent.

Last year our honorees were Mahnaz Shabbir, a Muslim leader who has brought better understanding of her faith to our community and to the nation. We also honored the Reverend David E Nelson, who since 1988 has pioneered and pursued  interfaith work here with energy, skill, and vision. Gayle Krigel, whose work on the first Table of Faiths luncheon and both Salaam Shalom dinners has modeled interfaith commitment in our community; and Nancy and Gordon Beaham whose faithfulness in encouraging interfaith work has extended over decades out of regard for the present and the future of humanity. Previous honorees are (2005) former Kansas Attorney General Robert Stephan and former Catholic Chancellor George Noonan, (2004) Marc Wilson, Director and CEO of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and Laurence Sickman, his deceased predecessor, (2003) Congressman Dennis Moore, (2002) Kansas City Mayor Pro-Tem Al Brooks, (2001) Kansas City Star columnist and Presbyterian lay theologian Bill Tammeus, and Kansas City Star publisher Art Brisbane, (2000) Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes, and (1999) Hindu leader Anand Bhattacharyya and Muslim leader A Rauf Mir, MD.

 Over the years, the ceremony has been hosted by the Grand Avenue Methodist Church, Rockhurst University, the Village (Presbyterian) Church, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Saint James Lutheran Church, Unity Temple on the Plaza, Shawnee Presbyterian Church, Grace and Holy Trinity (Episcopal) Cathedral, Temple B’nai Jehudah, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Congregation Beth Shalom, the Community Christian Church, St Monica Catholic Church, and St Andrew Christian Church, and the Rime Buddhist Center and Monastery, and Saint Pau's Episcopal Church.

The dinner begins at 6 and lasts two hours. For reservations ($25 adults, $20 children). Please send your reservations with your check to 

Box 45414
Kansas City, MO 64171

CRES TREE a 501(c)(3) organization -- community resources engaging the spirit
promoting understanding of all faiths through teaching, writing, and consulting.