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'This is proof we can get along' | 17 religious groups unite to celebrate Thanksgiving

A rabbi, pastor, and imam will lead a virtual service to celebrate, and share messages of unity and tradition.

ATLANTA — The holidays are a time when we come together with our families and friends.

Groups in north metro Atlanta are using this time to unite with others in their community of all different religions and backgrounds. About 17 interfaith groups in Cobb and Cherokee counties are coming together for a Thanksgiving celebration. 

"This is proof we all get along," said Hal Schlenger, head coordinator for the 17th annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Celebration.

A rabbi, pastor and imam will lead a virtual service to celebrate and share messages of unity and tradition. The theme of this year's celebrations is called "Rebuilding Hope Together."

Schlenger said he hopes this event inspires everyone to respect, love and empower those in their community despite differences.

"Anytime people of different religions get together and recognize that they're different, but really the same, that's progress," he said. "Whether you're the same religion or not, that we're all we're all humans, we're all brothers and sisters."

Schlenger said they chose to unite on Thanksgiving to show gratitude for the diverse community in the metro. 

"We're living in Atlanta, and it's not just the Braves we're excited about," he said. "There's just so much good and there's so many good neighbors around. Sometimes you just don't see them."

The service is a virtual this year because of the ongoing pandemic. In previous years, the organization said about 750 people attend.

You can join virtually through this link on Thursday, Nov. 18 at 6:45 p.m. 

The event is free, but donations are welcome, Schlenger said. All proceeds will go to Give-A-Gobble, a program funding meals for local veterans and neighbors in need this Thanksgiving.