On a beautiful summer Sunday , over 400 volunteers of all ages and of different faith and spiritual traditions converged at the New Haven Green for Interfaith Service Day 2023. Participants joined together in multi-ethnic and interdenominational groups to volunteer their time in service to community organizations, for enlightening and productive conversation and listening, enjoyed tours of the Crypt beneath the Center Church Meetinghouse, enjoyed a communal noon hour feast accompanied by live music and much more!
Interfaith Service Day 2023:
"A Story of Interfaith Service"
A photo essay narrated by
Bruce A. Barrett
Founder and President
"Service and Sacred Conversation Fill the Green"
by Allan Appel
New Haven Independent
"Bringing Good News to Life"
Interfaith Service Day
Hosted by Fr. John Gatzak
About Interfaith Service Day
Interview with Bruce A. Barrett
by Scott Harris
WPKN Between the Lines
Interfaith Service Day is made possible through the generosity of
The Episcopal Church in Connecticut, Center Church on the Green New Haven,
Barrett Outdoor Communications, Jerusalem Peacebuilders, and IWagePeace Inc.
On Sunday August 7th 2022 in New Haven CT, Interfaith Service Day brought a diversity of faith and community groups together in fellowship and goodwill. Through this event we collectively sent the message that we are one people, that we have nothing to fear from our differences, and that in fact, our differences make us a strong, vibrant, and dynamic community. We can disagree on doctrine and theology while respecting, learning, and enjoying one another. To each and every one who joined together for this day of community service and celebration of our like-mindedness, thank you! Amen!
In the heat of the day on the Green, a line forms at the anvil where volunteers test their strength at the hammer. They pound glowing red steel, turning guns into garden tools, they pound. The hammer strikes and rings over the Green, “ping, ping, ping....” turning war into peace.
Half of you, bless you all, tired from the hot work, returned home after lunch. Half of you stayed for reflections from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, and Baha’i traditions. Each separate voice connected to the whole. Thank you Rabbi Joshua Pernick from the Jewish Federation, Reverend Luke DeVolder from Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green, Imam Bilal Ansari, and Rachael Gonzales Ryan and your team.
A wind, wild and hot, grew and blew down the music stands, but the syncopations of the Afro-Semitic Experience kept on keeping on, bass plucking, saxophone humming, trumpet popping, the groove lifting our hearts as we painted the last corners of the billboard grateful for this time of joy as we served, prayed, and healed each other.
Interfaith Service Day came in partnership with Jerusalem Peacebuilders and was made possible by a generous donation from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut and with the participation of 17 faith community partners:
- Trinity Church on the Green New Haven
- The Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven
- Muslim Coalition of Connecticut
- Christ Church New Haven
- Regional Baha’i Council of the Northeastern States
- St. Andrew's Episcopal Church Madison
- Woodmont UCC Milford
- Congregation Mishkan Israel Hamden
- St. Peter's Episcopal Church Milford
- Congregation Beth-El Keser Israel New Haven
- St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Wilton
- Dixwell Avenue Congregational UCC New Haven
- Episcopal Church at Yale
- First Presbyterian Church of New Haven
- First United Church of Christ Milford
- OASIS Multi Church Youth Ministry
- St. Mark’s Episcopal Church New Canaan
The 1st Interfaith Service Day on August 8th in New Haven was a wonderful success. Twenty-two Israeli and Palestinian youth plus 125 local volunteers of all ages brought our size to over 150 in attendance. We completed seven community work projects. We enjoyed Fire Engine Pizza Truck! Mayor Toni Harp inspired us with her gratitude for our work. Thank you WPKN Radio Something, Channel 8, Channel 12 news, and the New Haven Independent. Thank you everyone who volunteered and supported our efforts. Truly, “We Are All In This Together.”