2017 National Day of Prayer Luncheon

May 4, 2017

What is prayer? How does it work? How does it change one’s life? These are questions that were asked to the North Texas community for the 2017 National Day of Prayer. People of diverse faith traditions gathered at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas to record statements about their own perspectives on prayer. Throughout the discussion ran common themes, revealing a connection between so many unique groups of people. The video was first presented at the 2017 National Day of Prayer Luncheon.

2017 Spring Festival of Faiths

March 20, 2017

On Monday, March 20th representatives from several faith groups gathered at Thanks-Giving Square to share information about their celebrations of the Spring season. Along with music and fellowship, visitors were treated to samples of unique food traditions. The purpose of this annual event hosted by the Interfaith Council is to share commonalities and differences between faith groups and to appreciate the mutual recognition of the rituals.

2016 Merry TubaChristmas Concert

December 23, 2016

Over 200 tubas were at the Square playing favorite holiday songs during the 39th Annual Merry TubaChristmas Concert. The annual event is free and fun for the whole family!

2016 Winter Festival of Faiths

December 19, 2016

The community celebrated the onset of winter with religious and cultural expressions of joy. The Winter Festival of Faiths at Thanks-Giving Square showcased faith traditions through dance, song, music and more inside the Hall of Thanksgiving.

Community Tree of Remembrance

December 2016
Thanks-Giving Square

In partnership with Faith & Grief Ministries and Faith Forward Dallas the Community Tree of Remembrance was illuminated each evening at Thanks-Giving Square. The community was invited to leave the name of a loved one on the archway of remembrance. A community service of remembrance was held at Thanks-Giving Square on December 21, the longest night of the year. Media: http://www.faithandgrief.org/events/community-tree-remembrance/

Interfaith Council Day of Service

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Interfaith Council gathered for a day of service at Dallas VA Medical Center, decorating the hospital with patriotic decorations and assembling gift bags for hospital residents.

Thanks-Giving Square:
Landscape and Architecture

September 26, 2016

During the September Interfaith Council Speaker Series attendees learned about the significance of Thanks-Giving Square as landscape and architecture and its place in the oeuvre of architect Phillip Johnson. Dr. Richard Brettell led the discussion. 

Compassion Walk

September 21, 2016

Thanks-Giving Square celebrated International Peace Day on Wednesday, September 21. On this day, the Crow Collection of Asian Art and members of Compassionate DFW, the Interfaith Council, and Faith Forward Dallas, an initiative of Thanks-Giving Square gathered to promote peace in our city. The Compassion Walk also marked the closing day of the Compassion Games and included remarks by city officials and interfaith community leaders. Participants assembled at Klyde Warren Park for remarks and then walked to Thanks-Giving Square at noon.

Keeping the Faith: An Interfaith Dialogue on Women & Religion in North Texas

September 6, 2016 at J. Erik Jonsson Central Library 

Dr. Robert Hunt and panelists discussed transcending their unique and common challenges of gender and faith in North Texas. Guests included Beth Keenan, Rabbi Nancy Kasten, Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Rev. Dr. Isabel Docampo, and Dina Malki. This program was hosted by the Humanities Division of the Dallas Public Library in partnership with Texas Muslim Women’s Foundation, Daughters of Abraham, and the Thanks-Giving Foundation’s Interfaith Council.

Dallas Remembers: Charleston – One Year Later

June 17, 2016 at Thanks-Giving Square

Marking the one-year anniversary of the brutal act of domestic terrorism which shattered the sanctity of Wednesday Night Bible Study at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C. Mayor Mike Rawlings opened the ceremony followed by honored guest speaker, Dr. Ella McDonald, Presiding Elder – Greater Dallas District of North Texas Conference of the AME Church, multi-faith community choir, and people representing our city’s rich cultural and religious traditions. This uplifting time of remembrance took place on the Plaza at Thanks-Giving Square starting at 11:00 a.m. and concluded at noon with houses of worship from across our city tolling their bells in honor of those slain.
Presented by Faith Forward Dallas – Faith Leaders United for Peace and Justice, an initiative of Thanks-Giving Square.

2016 National Day of Prayer Luncheon

More than 250 guests gathered at Edison’s in Dallas for the 35th Annual National Day of Prayer Luncheon, presented by The Thanks-Giving Foundation and its Interfaith Council, on May 5, 2016. A truly multicultural event, each year the luncheon honors religious freedom and the power of prayer and gratitude in our diverse community. Following opening remarks by Interfaith Council Chair, Almas Muscatwalla, and Thanks-Giving Foundation Board Chair, Jennifer Altabef, Rev. Dr. Joe Clifford, First Presbyterian Church, Dallas, offered the invocation. Imam Omar Suleiman, Valley Ranch Islamic Center, read the National Day of Prayer Presidential Proclamation.

Southlake Carroll High School senior, Amsal Madhani, recited her original poem in a spoken word presentation about her life experience as a Ismaili Muslim teenager. After the introduction by Temple Shalom Rabbi Andrew Paley, keynote speaker, Janessa Gans Wilder, founder and CEO of Euphrates Institute, then took the stage and shared a powerful message about “Building Peace in the Face of Extremism.”

Rachel Roberts, MTS, Perkins School of Theology, led the audience in an interactive circle of prayer to close the event.

Proceeds from the Luncheon are used to further the work of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, including Thanks-Giving Square and its Interfaith Council.

Faith and Kindness at the Crow Collection of Asian Art

October 28, 2015

Love, kindness and compassion are at the base of multiple faiths. The Crow Collection of Asian Art in partnership with the Interfaith Council of Thanks-Giving Square, welcomed three faith leaders from the Dallas community to talk about kindness in their religions. Esteemed guests were: Rabbi Andrew M. Paley, Senior Rabbi at Temple Shalom, Imam Shpendim, Islamic Association of North Texas, Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Resident Minister, Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas.

The Golden Rule: Norman Rockwell’s America 

As part of our continuing Speaker Series, The Interfaith Council of the Thanks-Giving Foundation hosted Norman Rockwell historian Jane Allen Petrick on October 2, 2014, at First Unitarian Church. Highlighting Rockwell’s commitment to portray multiculturalism, Petrick spoke on her enlightened narrative, Hidden in Plain Sight: The Other People in Norman Rockwell’s America, which explores the motivation behind Norman Rockwell’s art and why he chose to incorporate people of color into his illustrations. Though hidden in plain sight, Asian, African and Native Americans are present throughout Rockwell’s 4,000 illustrations.

A PROUD PARTNER OF DALLAS FACES RACE

About Jane Allen Petrick  

2015 National Day of Prayer Brings Together Community

More than 200 guests gathered at the Hilton Anatole Hotel for the 34th Annual National Day of Prayer Luncheon, presented by The Thanks-Giving Foundation and its Interfaith Council, on May 7, 2015. A truly multicultural event, each year the luncheon honors religious freedom and the power of prayer and gratitude. Students from the Notre Dame School of Dallas Hand Bell Choir welcomed guests with music, followed by opening remarks given by Thanks-Giving Foundation Board Chair, Jennifer AltabefSwami Sarveshananda, resident Acharya of Dallas-Fort Worth centers of Chinmaya Mission, led everyone in the invocation. As guests enjoyed lunch, a short film, created by Quin Mathews, was shown, which reflected on the Square’s past 50 years, as well as a glimpse of its future.

Following lunch, Café Momentum interns reminded everyone about the purpose and history of the day by reading the National Day of Prayer Presidential Proclamation. The President of the United States, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day, the first Thursday of May, signs this proclamation every year. Keynote speaker, Chad Houser, executive director of Café Momentum, then took the stage and shared a powerful message about gratitude and the benefits it has in our lives, in the lives of those around us and in the larger community. Kambiz Rafraf from the Baha’i community lead the closing unity interfaith prayer and Dallas Police Officer Charles Vaughn concluded the ceremony by singing the hymn, God Bless America.

Proceeds from the Luncheon are used to further the work of The Thanks-Giving Foundation, including Thanks-Giving Square and its Interfaith Council.