Carmel Inter faith Alliance Honors Dr Shahid Athar at Thank sgiving Service
By Mark Ambrogi

The Carmel Interfaith Alliance was built on one major core belief.
“We believe we have so much more in common than what separates us,” Carmel Interfaith Alliance president Jerry Zehr said. “In a time today when there are people that want to divide us, we feel it’s important we come together and say to the larger community how much we are together and thankful for the blessings of God.”
The Carmel Interfaith Thanksgiving hour-long service was held on November 19 at Carmel Christian Church, 463 East Main St.
“Our focus is on Thanksgiving. In all of our faith traditions, we are called on to come with grateful hearts for what God is given to us,” said Zehr, Carmel Christian Church’s pastor.
Zehr said the Thanksgiving event is the first he has hosted as part of the Carmel Interfaith Alliance, which started two years ago.
“We’re having participation from many of the different faith communities,” Zehr said.
DrShahid Athar, a Carmel resident, was presented with a proclamation from Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard and the Interfaith Ambassador of the Year Award for his more than 40-plus years of interfaith work.
“He’s a longtime Indiana resident originally from India and a part of the Muslim community,” Zehr said. “He’s quite a dynamic man.”
Zehr, Athar and Rabbi Dennis Sasso started Interfaith work in Indianapolis in 1987.
Members of the Sikh community sang as an ensemble. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints also sang a duet with a piano and cello accompaniment.
There was a dance of Thanksgiving by Blanche Wright, a member of Light of the World Christian Church in Indianapolis. She danced to the song, “He is Faithful.”
There were readings from Hindu and Jewish communities as well.
Everyone was invited to bring a non-perishable food item for their offering. The items were delivered to a local food bank.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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