Two nearby Auburn Christian churches hosting seder with help from local rabbi

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The Rev. Daniel Warren, left, of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Auburn, and Rabbi Sruli Dresdner, of Auburn’s Temple Shalom, center, listen to Stephen Carnahan, the minister of Auburn’s High Street Congregational Church, on Sunday afternoon. The three were talking at the Congregational Church, where their followers, along with others, will celebrate a Seder meal Thursday night.

AUBURN — What better way to bring neighbors together than to celebrate with food?

The neighbors — the parishioners from St. Michael’s Episcopal and High Street Congregational churches, both on Pleasant Street, are hosting a Seder ceremony on Thursday evening, Maundy Thursday, to celebrate the start of the Easter weekend.

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The ritual will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the High Street Congregational Church at 106 Pleasant St.

Rabbi Sruli Dresdner of Temple Shalom Synagogue Center in Auburn will also take part in the ceremony, which has its origins in the Jewish faith as the ritual feast that marks the start of Passover.

“It’s a great honor to be involved at this Seder at High Street Congregation with St. Michael’s,” Rabbi Dresdner said. “It’s important for the Jewish and Christians to come together at this time.”

“We are thankful that he is willing to share his traditions with us,” said the Rev. Daniel Warren, the pastor at St. Michael’s.

The Jewish community has hosted Seders for thousands of years. Using food, prayer and study, the Seder teaches the history of the Jewish people and their exodus from slavery in Egypt.

Some Christians have recently started exploring Seder celebrations as a way to learn the Jewish roots of Christianity.

“The meal we call the Last Supper that Jesus celebrated with the disciples was a Passover meal,” Warren said. “Today we would call it a Seder. Our holy Eucharist came out of this.”

Prayer, the breaking of bread and the drinking of wine are included in the Seder ritual.

Thursday’s Seder will not be a huge feast but a modest ritual involving unleavened bread, bits of lamb, eggs, herbs and a few other items, according to Mary Loy Rider, a member of the St. Michael’s vestry.

An ancient religious text, called a Haggadah, will be read during the ceremony.

Rabbi Dresdner said he hopes his attendance will give the evening “a historical Jewish flavor.”

The two Pleasant Street churches are hoping their parishioners can learn the origins of where their sacraments came from, Warren said.

Following the Seder, St. Michael’s will hold its Maundy Thursday service at 7:30 p.m., which includes the washing of the feet of the congregation and the stripping of the altar for Good Friday.

Auburn High Street Congregational Church minister Stephen Carnahan, left, Rabbi Sruli Dresdner, center, of Auburn’s Temple Shalom, and the Rev. Daniel Warren of Auburn’s St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, will gather Thursday at the High Street Congregational Church where their followers, along with others, will celebrate a Seder meal.

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