Representatives of various faiths to take part in event, with reception to follow

Staff Report

Everyone is invited to the Santa Ynez Valley Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 23. This beloved service is sponsored by the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, Bethania Lutheran Church, and St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley, including representatives of Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and other faith communities. Participants will gather in offering thanks from their various religious traditions, affirming their unity as grateful neighbors.

“We gather together with our neighbors and friends of all faiths, or of none, to give thanks for the many blessings we enjoy in our diverse community,” Rev. Randall Day of St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley said. “We invite you to join us.”

Rabbi Debi Lewis joined in extending an invitation.

“Join us as we express gratitude for our community, our interfaith friendships and for the ability to do the work we are blessed to do together, work that makes the world a better place,” she said.

A reception in Stacy Hall will follow the service with savory and sweet refreshments from Los Olivos Wine Merchant and Café, including wine and non-alcoholic beverages.

“In a time of such polarization and struggle in our society, coming together from different backgrounds in gratitude for what we have and what we commit to work towards can be such a meaningful and powerful experience,” added Pastor Chris Brown of Bethania Lutheran Church.

Participants are asked to be vaccinated and to wear a mask while indoors, and dress warmly as doors and windows will be open for safety, providing plenty of fresh air.

Additionally, all are invited to gather at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley for a simple service at 9 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 26. Family, friends, neighbors, acquaintances and strangers are welcome, as always, to begin the celebration of this national holiday and a feast day in the Episcopal Church. Come together to sing the traditional harvest hymns and offer thanks to the One who has given us all things. This short service, lasting less than an hour, will be followed by simple refreshments in the Common Room.

“Thanksgiving is about gathering together and giving thanks,” Day said. “This service is a special opportunity to observe the heart of the Thanksgiving holiday.”

St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Church is located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in Los Olivos, one block west from the downtown flagpole and next to Mattei’s Tavern. For questions, please contact the St. Mark’s office at 805-688-4454 or visit