Vegas churches planning joint Thanksgiving service

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By Tom McDonald

A group of Las Vegas churches is coming together next week to give thanks — and, hopefully, expand their ministries with a revitalized spirit of unity.

An ecumenical Thanksgiving service is being held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Paul’s Peace Church at Eighth Street and National Avenue.

Six churches are participating in the service being sponsored by the Las Vegas Ministerial Alliance.

Along with St. Paul’s Peace, Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, First Presbyterian, First United Methodist and Immanuel Lutheran are taking part in the service. Everyone, regardless of church affiliation, is invited to attend, said Pat Halverson, pastor at St. Paul’s Peace.

It’s been several years since the last ecumenical worship service took place in Las Vegas, Halverson said.

“It’s exciting for all of us to worship together and to give thanks to our God,” she said. “It’s wonderful that Protestants and Catholics are coming together for this service.”

The service will include some special music, including a joint choir singing the anthem. The Rev. George Salazar of Immaculate Conception will deliver the message, and clergy from the other five churches will be helping in the service.

The offering will go into the Ministerial Alliance’s transient fund, to help travelers in need of assistance in paying for food, lodging and gasoline, Halverson said.

The Ministerial Alliance, after years of inactivity, is being revitalized in Las Vegas. It is now meeting at 8 a.m. on the first Saturday of every month at Charlie’s Spic & Span restaurant. All are welcome to attend, Halverson said.

As for this Wednesday’s service, Halverson said it’s a step toward churches working together more often.

“I think this will inspire more ecumenical cooperation and joint ministries in the community,” she said.