Longboat Key residents gathered for the annual Thanksgiving service at Temple Beth Israel.
While the Thanksgiving Interfaith Service brings the community together for an evening, the clergy used the event as a time to call for unity throughout the whole year.
The call for solidarity comes following the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Rabbi Stephen Sniderman, who served as the preacher for this year’s service, explained to the crowd that a week after the shooting, the clergy gathered for previously planned meeting.
While it might have been pre-planned, the meeting came at a time when support was needed most. He shared with the crowd that his fellow clergy members offered him words of solidarity during that meeting.
The messages preached at the Interfaith Service on Nov. 20 at Temple Beth Israel echoed those sentiments.
“We need to stand together. We (need) to support each other as we support ourselves,” Sniderman said to the crowd.
Following words from Sniderman, the Revs. Norman Pritchard of Christ Church Presbyterian of Longboat Key and Kenneth Blyth of St. Armands Key Lutheran Church called on their congregants to show unity every day instead of just when tragic acts of violence occur.
“How much different our lives would be if our lives were lived in solidarity,” the Rev. Kenneth Blyth said.