Celebrating Something Good

In what has been a quiet tradition for many years, the East Hampton Presbyterian Church has put on a free Thanksgiving dinner for anyone who wants to attend. This volunteer effort is but one of the good things that happen year round and give us a strong sense of pride in our community.

Not all good works emanate from our religious institutions, of course, but we were reminded of their central role, even now in the 21st century, after the shooting attack at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Five days after this tragedy, leaders of the houses of worship here gathered with public officials and a crowd numbering in the hundreds — more than the sanctuary could seat — at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons in a spirit of togetherness at which believers and nonbelievers alike felt welcomed and reassured. Perhaps the most moving moment was when 11 members of the East Hampton Clericus, from across faiths and denominations, lit candles, one for each victim.

That sense of fellowship, albeit at a far less painful time, can be found in the winter soup dinners at Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church’s Parish Hall. These gatherings, with soups donated by local restaurants, are free; the first of the season was held last night.

On Sunday, the community has again been invited to the Jewish Center of the Hamptons for an interfaith Thanksgiving service that the Rev. Leandra Lambert of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church will lead. Then, next Thursday, the interfaith dinner in the East Hampton Presbyterian Session House will take place from noon to 2:30 p.m. for those who may be alone, unable to cook, or simply wish to celebrate together with others. Then there are the volunteers who make this event and so much more in this small town happen. For them, the takeaway is a feeling of doing something good — and there is nothing better than that.