Local Interfaith Clergy Group Providing Outreach Service This Thursday

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Jim Pivarnik for ELi

An East Lansing daffodil blooming in the sun.

The idea for the local interfaith virtual worship service that will happen this Thursday night came from a member of the community, Reverend Jennifer Tafel tells ELi.

“There was a request from a member of the community – requesting a virtual interfaith worship service addressing hope in a time of the pandemic.”

Now, the Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing is set to offer a unity event – a watch party to lift community spirit in the wake of COVID-19. The overarching theme will indeed be “hope.”

The event will not begin until 8:30 p.m., in order to respect the conclusion of Passover (which ends with the sunset on Thursday), and is expected to run until 9:30 p.m.

Community members can expect the service to contain “music, prayers, and reflections from several of the traditions represented in this association.”

For the event, local religious leaders submitted video clips which were then edited and put together by Tafel to comprise part of the service. Rabbi Amy Bigman and Pastor Dawn Christenson helped to create the program for the service, and the material was edited together for sharing.

“We are proud of our work and hope the community feels uplifted by this worship experience,” Tafel said.

Tafel has been with The Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing for the past seven years and is currently acting as an on-call chaplain at a Lansing hospital.

From Tafel’s perspective, the impacts of COVID-19 are being felt in many different ways by members of the clergy, as their work varies from helping people at the hospital to working among their own congregations and communities while social distancing is required.

Rev. Jennifer Tafel in a photo supplied to ELi by her.

Tafel says that the Interfaith Clergy Association is doing what it can to effectively accommodate the needs of the community during this pandemic, and the “Worship Service of Hope” is just one way in which they are reaching community members while also working to lift the spirits of the clergy association’s own members.

“I know that my colleagues are exhausted on many levels and yet they continue to show up for their communities. I continue to be inspired by them.” Tafel said.

Community members can get more information about the service on the Interfaith Clergy Association of Greater Lansing Facebook page.

See a run-down of all of ELi’s special COVID-19 reporting.

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