"There will be no peace among the nations without peace among the religions. There will be no peace among the religions without dialogue among the religions". (Dr Hans Küng)
I am excited to say that over 60 people have registered for our upcoming "Getting to the Heart of Interfaith" evenings at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake. These 60+ participants represent over a dozen different communities from the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish traditions. This wonderful response if an indication that this conversation and this dialogue is an important one. I think we are becoming increasingly aware of the need to learn more about each other in order that we might dispel ignorance that we have about each other. What started out a a part of a project for a DMIN course has become a great opportunity for our church community and for the Windsor Essex Community. (Thank you McCormick Theological Seminary for encouraging this).
We really do not know a lot about each other. What is worse is that much of what we have ‘learned’ about each other is often negative and false and generated from places of prejudice and fear. In these upcoming meetings we have an opportunity to dispel fear and darkness and embrace light and hope.
Former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan said that "We may have different religions, different languages, different coloured skin, but we all belong to one human race." We often forget that we are one race. It seems that our culture is quick to define people by categories of race, of colour, of religion, of gender of orientation and on and on it goes. Each time we place persons in those categories we make them different, we make them other and we often make them less than. All of that categorization serves only to keep people away and we remain unaware and ignorant of who people really are.
There is a lot of conflict in our world and much of it is in the name of religion. History tells us that all of our world religions are guilty of violence against another in the name of all that is holy and divine. Our hope at St. Mark’s by-the-Lake is that we work to create an environment where we might learn from each other and grow because of what we learn. We will get a greater reflection of the Divine by honouring the best of our brothers and sisters.
If you have not already done so, please check out our parish webpage at www.stmarkschurch.net and follow the link for "An Exciting event Coming Soon." The be in touch and register for "Getting to the Heart of Interfaith."