7-8 p.m. Wednesday, Nov 25, 2015
Representatives from diverse faith communities and traditions celebrate our collective gratitude for what we have, and reaffirm our dedication to serve those who have not.
Interfaith Action of Evanston annually hosts this Thanksgiving Eve celebration to provide an opportunity for representatives of the diverse faith communities and traditions, both Christian and non, in and around Evanston to share with others the spirit of Thanksgiving as reflected in their individual traditions.
The event is Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at St Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1509 Ridge Ave in Evanston. The program begins at 7 p.m. with a musical prelude followed by a series of short blessings reflecting the beliefs of the presenter’s faith tradition. The Rev. Debra Bullock of St Mark’s will lead an opening prayer followed by a keynote address by The Rev. Bret Lortie of the Unitarian Church of Evanston. The powerful service concludes with a music collection prepared on behalf of IAE, and a closing prayer. Note: An offering will be received to support the work of feeding neighbors experiencing hunger or homelessness.
Keynote: The Rev. Bret Lortie, Unitarian Church of Evanston
Where: St. Mark’s Epscopal Church, 1509 Ridge Ave, Evanston, IL 60202
Parking: In addition to street parking, lots will be open at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church (1012 Lake Street, Evanston); the Unitarian Church of Evanston (1330 Ridge Avenue, Evanston); and at Roycemore School (1200 Davis Street, Evanston). Handicap parking is available in the front driveway of St. Mark’s for those with a tag, plate or sticker.
Friday mornings start at 4 a.m. for Skip Myslenski and Mary Kinney, who prep and serve breakfast for around 50 of our homeless neighbors each week.
“How long is this going to take?” Skip Myslenski asked, lowering himself cross-legged to the floor in the lobby of the Hospitality Center Entrance at St Mark’s. He and partner Mary Kinney, were between grocery runs to stock the Center’s pantry for the coming week, a job they undertake every Friday morning. Mind you, this is after cooking a hot full-course breakfast for clients at Hilda’s Place at Lake Street Church then serving up the same menu for 30-40 grateful, hungry guests over at the Hospitality Center.
Skip, whom Wildcats fans will know from his nusports.com blog, “The Skip Report,” began catering this weekly feast in the early ‘90s. Mary, a south-side Chicago native, joined him three years ago. To be clear, “feast” is not hyperbole. How else do you describe a morning meal of bacon, turkey bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes (plain and blueberry), cheesy potatoes made from scratch, plus individually wrapped breakfast sandwiches for late arrivals? Except for the eggs, the couple donates every bite. Why do they do it? “I consider myself pretty lucky,” said Skip, who has also written for Sports Illustrated, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Chicago Tribune. “So why not?” Pausing thoughtfully, he added, “I’m not sure who said it, but I’ve read, ‘The greatest of distinctions is service to others,’” he surmised.
Mary is less philosophical. For her, the greatest rewards are smiling faces — especially when clients recognize and greet them on the street or in the park. “It’s simple, really,” she explained. “When you see that connection, it’s very meaningful to me.” .