Group of religious leaders planning gratitude celebration Nov. 9 | SteamboatToday.com

Group of religious leaders planning gratitude celebration Nov. 9

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Marchele McCarthy believes that a multi-faith gratitude celebration will offer a platform for the community of Steamboat Springs to come together, and share common ground.

"I would like people to leave with a sense of community and connectedness." said McCarthy, who helped start Exploring the Sacred, which is hosting the celebration. "I think gratitude is something that everybody can relate to. … We can all come together from different backgrounds, and different religions."

Exploring the Sacred is a group of religious leaders who have come together with the community to address critical issues related to finding meaning in the world. It began when McCarthy and her husband, Tim, invited the religious leaders in Steamboat to come together for a discussion. Now, 15 years later, the group hosts community forums that address current topics. The group's latest forum was Hope and Fear in America.  The group's gratitude celebration will take place at 6:30 p.m. November 9 at Library Hall, 1289 Lincoln Ave.

"I just want people from the community to come together and offer gratitude so that the audience has an opportunity to  talk about what they are grateful for," said McCarthy, who is a psychotherapist and counselor in Steamboat Springs. 

She said the celebration will include readings, songs and reflections on gratitude from several religious perspectives including Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Islamic, a Course in Miracles. She said each of them will offer something from their traditions to the celebration. There will also be some music interspersed throughout the event.

"We are working on some youth in the community that we have invited to come play some music in between," McCarthy said. "Afterwards there will be an opportunity for people to sit together and share desserts and have some conversation."

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McCarthy said often people come together and have discussions about what they disagree on, and this is an opportunity to people can celebrate together regardless of faith or background.

"Gratitude is something that we can all get our minds around," she said. "People of all backgrounds and faiths, or no faiths are welcome to come."

The celebration is free, and those interested are encouraged to bring a dessert for a potluck at the end. McCarthy said the group will also be collecting nonperishable food items that will be donated to LiftUp of Routt County Food Bank. The presentation will last about an hour, and she is hoping that the discussion afterwards will be about 30 minutes.

To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966

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