Temple Kol Emeth is hosting its 12th annual Ecumenical Thanksgiving Celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17.

“This year’s event will focus on the welcoming spirit of the United States and will feature many stories about making positive changes in the lives of others,” said Bassem Fakhoury of the Roswell Community Masjid. “I think it’s a very timely and apt subject in light of the negative political rhetoric associated with the election cycle.”

The free event, open to the community, features the theme “The Ripple Effect: Together We Create Waves.” It takes place at 1415 Old Canton Road in East Cobb and involves Kol Emeth and 16 other congregations: Ahmadiyya Muslim Community; Baha’i Faith of Marietta; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Earthkeepers, First Nation; East Cobb Islamic Center; East Cobb United Methodist Church; Emerson Universalist Unitarian; Holy Trinity Lutheran Church; House of Hope; Masjid Al-Muminum; Roswell Community Masjid; Sikh Educational Welfare Association; St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church; St. Benedict’s Episcopal Church; Transfiguration Catholic Church; and Unity North Atlanta.

“For me, meaningful interfaith partnership begins by learning about other faiths,” said the Rev. Jeff Jones, a minister at the Emerson Unitarian Universalist Congregation. “It is out of our not knowing that people sometimes respond out of fear. And so by learning about other faiths, each of us becomes an ambassador of interfaith work and ministry in the community.”

The program will offer music, humor, and reflections by clergy and inspirational speakers.

“We are happy to open our doors to the community,” said Kol Emeth member Hal Schlenger, the event chairman. “One of the good examples of coexisting and learning is that you will hear the beautiful Islamic call of prayer sung from a Jewish synagogue’s pulpit. While we each pray a little differently, the purpose is the same.”

During the reception after the program, people will be able to add their thoughts to a Wall of Words.

“We hope the takeaway from this year’s program is being the change you want to see,” Schlenger said. “So as a community, we can do that. The change we want is to see that our religious differences are relatively minor compared to the commonality we all share. This program becomes an opportunity for you to meet people of other faiths and realize they are pretty much the same as you are.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/Ecumenical-Thanksgiving-Celebration-119602054760740, or call Kol Emeth at 770-973-3533.