Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prayers to Confront Hatred and Prejudice

People of goodwill were appalled to read in Sunday's paper that the National Socialist Movement plans to hold a regional meeting in Greensboro this month. We were reminded that fear and hatred can be powerful forces for disruption in any community. The Piedmont Interfaith Council is committed to affirming the dignity and value of all human beings as creations of God and so we deplore the actions of those who encourage suspicion and division.

In the same edition of the paper, though, we found encouragement and a model of how to respond to evil. There a brief note describes how Liberian women, both Muslim and Christian, joined in prayer and witness to bring a measure of peace to their country. Similarly, PIC invites members of all faith traditions and all spiritual practitioners to join us as we pray for unity and healing not only in our community, but also in our nation and our world. Set aside time on August 29 to remember--and to voice--the beliefs we hold in common.

Prayers in the Face of Hatred and Prejudice

Many faith traditions remind us that as human beings we are all created by God to be part of one family. The prayers that follow are drawn from sacred writings of the Bahá’í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Jewish and Sikh traditions. To see how much they have in common is indeed a source of blessing.

* May we come to realize that we are all brothers and sisters, all nourished from the same source of life.

* May we purify our eyes to be able to see that no one is different from ourselves.

* May we remember that we were created and divided into nations and tribes in order to come to know one another, not to despise one another.

* Let us pray, then, that we ourselves cease to be the cause of suffering to each other.

* May we share one goal in life and may our minds be united so as to bring life’s goodness to all.

* Let us not hate our sisters and brothers in our hearts, but love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

* Let us respond to evil actions with those that are better: in this way enmity will be replaced with friendship.

* May we remember that the most important victory is the one where no one is defeated, because it is through love that we reach God.

* May we learn to forgive and to seek reconciliation, for we will surely be rewarded by God.

* Let the whole universe be blessed;
let all beings be engaged in one another's well-being;
let all weakness, sickness and faults be diminished and vanish;
let everyone, everywhere be blissful and at peace.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Greensboro Daily Photo

Do you know this resource?

They have some beautiful photos of local houses of worship--and of other spots in Greensboro. Take a look, and feel free to suggest to them additional places to include.