Interfaith service draws 200 to Bristol's St. Joseph Church

Published on Monday, 2 December 2019 18:38
Written by Laura Minor

BRISTOL - Two hundred people gathered at St. Joseph Church on Nov. 27, giving thanks with neighbors of different faiths.

This was the third time for members of the Bristol Area Association of Ministry to partner with the Interfaith Coalition in hosting this event.

Combined adult, children’s and handbell choirs performed and instrumental accompaniment was provided by pianists, organists and brass players, all of whom donated their time and skills.

The Rev. Ivan Ramirez, of St. Joseph Church, started the evening with a welcome in English and Spanish. Prayers and songs in multiple languages were offered, including a prayer shared in Algonquin by Nighthawk Flying, who represents four Native American nations.

Van Monak Chhun, who runs Meals for our Neighbors through the Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, spoke of her gratitude to the church when it sponsored Monak’s family as refugees many years ago.

Dozens of bags of food for Meals for our Neighbors and $868 in cash donations for St. Vincent DePaul Shelter were collected.

Jewish, Hindu, Native American, Muslim, Baha’i and Christian religious leaders contributed prayers and readings throughout the service.

The Bristol Interfaith Coalition’s next event will be on Feb. 5 at the Bristol Public Library in conjunction with the Mayor’s Diversity Council. It will be a panel presentation with speakers from different religions.

The panel will be titled “To Love Your Neighbor, Know Your Neighbor” and is presented by members of the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding.

For more information about the Bristol Interfaith Coalition, visit its Facebook page at or email

Posted in The Bristol Press, Bristol on Monday, 2 December 2019 18:38. Updated: Monday, 2 December 2019 18:40.