Monday, January 5, 2009

We Are America, We are the World!

World Religion Day
Sunday, January 18th 3 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Church of Greensboro
5603 Hilltop Road, Jamestown, NC
(near the intersection of Hilltop Road and Guilford College Road)

Join with your neighbors of many different religious traditions in our Annual World Rel
igions Day Celebration. This year's theme is "We are America, We are the World." There will be music, prayers, and interactive elements drawn from a wide variety of traditions.

The Triad Tapestry Chorus will be among
those who will celebrate the
diversity of
faiths through music.

We also will be treated to music by the Visions of Rapture Children's Choir from the All Nations Evangelical Church.

Traditional Native American flute music will be part of the program, as well as a dramatic interactive reading, a "Prayer for America," and other inspiring elements.

The aim of World Religion Day is to foster the establishment of interfaith understanding and harmony by emphasizing the common denominators underlying all religions. The message of World Religions Day is that mankind, which has stemmed from one origin, must now strive towards the reconciliation of that which has been split up. Human unity and true equality depend not on past origins, but on future goals, on what we are becoming and whither we are going.

World Religions Day is observed in more than 90 nations around the world. It is an official holiday in Canada and several other countries. In the United States, World Religion Day is being observed in more and more communities each year, most often organized by collaboration among faith communities. This is the third annual observance of World Religion Day in Greensboro organized by FaithAction and the Piedmont Interfaith Council.

Students from the Newcomers' School

Many of us remember these presentations as the most moving part of this year's Ecumenical Celebration of Thanksgiving. They appeared in the News & Record on Saturday, December 27. Thanks to Leisa for organizing the presentations and sharing the essays and pictures.

My name is Deepak and I am from Bhutan. Bhutan is a small country between India and China. My family left this country because the government arrested and killed innocent people. They burned houses and people were forcefully asked to leave the country. We went to a refugee camp in Nepal and lived there in a thatched hut for 13 years. Faith helped us to reach safely to America in June, 2008. I am grateful to the people and government of the United States for accepting Bhutanese refugees in this big developed country.

My name is Joseph Lian and I’m from Burma. It is now called Myanmar. When I was a child there, my mother went to the farm every day. One day the army came and she gave them rice. This caused a problem for our family, so my mother had to escape to Malaysia. I joined her later and we lived in Malaysia for two years. Then the United Nations called us to come to America. My mother prayed to God and said, “Thank you, God”. Now my brother and I go to school and my mother works. Every Sunday we go to church and I play the guitar for God and the people. Now I say, “Thank you, God” for my new life in America.

My name is Jane and I’m from Sierra Leone. The conditions in my country were poor. We did not have good food and the food was very expensive. There were no jobs for people because of war. My family was lucky enough to win the immigration lottery, and we came to the United States this year. Here in the US I enjoy school, the environment, and the city, but I miss my friends and family in my homeland. I give thanks to God for giving me a new life here in Greensboro.

I am Tabeer and I’m from Pakistan. Why do people from many different countries come to America? They come for the dream that each man can create his own destiny. When I left my country the political conditions were very bad. My family came here for a better livelihood and the best education for me and my sisters. When I stepped into America for the first time, my first thought was that America is a really clean and beautiful country. The problem for my family is learning the new language and getting settled into a new country. I think we should always have fun in life and be prepared for our new journey.

My name is Leslie and I’m from Mexico. As with many Mexican families, my father first began working in the United States. My mother and I came to join him this year in search of a better job for my mom and a better education for me. Also, the security in Mexico is very bad and there is a group of people that kill and kidnap. This is scary, so the people live with fear. That’s why my parents decided to come to live here. I miss my friends and everything about Mexico, but my dream is to be something in life, and for the moment, I’m working toward that dream here in the United States.

My name is Meena and I’m from Iraq. I came here to the United States in August, 2008 to start a new life because my life was taken from me. Because of the bad situation in my country, I cannot go back because I am afraid. Have you ever known anyone who is afraid of his own country? I left my country with a tear in my eyes. I said good-bye to my home, friends, and family and went to Jordan. We felt free at last, and I made new friends. However, it was difficult living there for Iraqi people. I had to say good-bye again. Then I came here to the land of dreams to start and never stop. I will get a good education and I want to become a genetic engineer. However, I left half of my heart in Iraq and the other half in Jordan. I hope the day will come when I collect my heart again here in America, because no one can live without a heart.