Yesterday, at the 10am worship service, the congregation I serve participated in the Faith Shared project by offering an interfaith worship experience. Our effort was distinctively NOT an effort at creating one world faith, as some critics of the project have suggested. Rather, we worked to bring in elements of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian worship. So, we began the service with three openings:a call to prayer in Arabic, the opening acclamation "the Lord be with you..." from the Episcopal liturgy, and the lighting of candles and prayers to begin the sabbath, from the Jewish tradition. We heard a reading from the Torah (Numbers) with a fabulous reflection on hospitality based on the reading. That was followed by a reading from the Qu'ran, which was sung by a nine year old boy, and his ten year old brother interpreted it for us in English. I proclaimed the Gospel and reflected on the reading and the week past, where our church co-sponsored the Worldviews Seminar. We sang and prayed and offer blessings over a meal. We shared the meal of bread and juice and wine. It was not a Eucharist, but it was certainly Eucharistic!
I think we created a service that honored each tradition and enabled us to learn from, and about, one another. It was quite a lovely service. I'm exhausted, though. Last week was so very busy, the seminar, a big funeral, two meet and greets with parishioners (fun! But still, added to the busy-ness), and the interfaith service.
This week should be a little quieter. I hope to finish weeding my garden and finish reading "Twelve Keys to a Compassionate Life" by Karen Armstrong, which will be the focus of our summer reading discussion groups.
That's my week. What about yours? Are you busy? Or finding some time for rest and renewal?
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