This past week I had the great fortune of participating in an interfaith dialogue with representatives from the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities. The event was co-sponsored by Aquinas Institute of Theology, Eden Theological Seminary, the Islamic Foundation and the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) and featured national figures on the interfaith scene-Rev. Michael Kinnamon, Rabbi Steve Gutow and Dr. Sayyid Syeed. The title of the program was: We Have a Prayer: Interfaith Relations in Difficult Times.
It was quite fascinating and refreshing to sit with a group of faith leaders who share common values such as peace, justice, and love for all humankind. I’m not sure how much press or media attention was given to this gathering, but there should have been more. With all of the geo-political tension and strife between peoples of different ethnicities and faith, there has been much suffering on all sides. As Jews, we have often been the victims of such hatred and violence. Only through dialogue and understanding others will we be able to make strides in creating a more peaceful world where peacefull co-existence is attainable This gathering proved to me that there are those who are willing to sit together and have this important dialogue.
One of the questions put forth for discussion was: Can people from three different faiths, who all believe in one God, come together in prayer and if so what would that prayer look like and how could we do so without offending members of our respective faiths? We did not come up with a resolution to this question but I think we all agreed that just being in each others presence and developing relationships with one another was a step in the right direction.
B’shalom (in peace),