Sunday, June 26th was not an ordinary Sunday in churches and places of worship all over the country. Participating in a project of Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First called Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding, dozens of houses of worship held interfaith services highlighting the shared values and common history of the three Abrahamic faiths, Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. The project was very successful. Congregations in 34 States and the District of Columbia and 70 congregations participated from California to Iowa to the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. In a time when inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric and outright bigotry are common and interfaith dialogue is not always as newsworthy, Faith Shared was an amazing opportunity to create an open and accepting conversation about religious differences and similarities both nationally and in local communities.
If you could not attend one of the Faith Shared services, or if you did and want to experience others, I highly recommend visiting the Faith Shared Gallery where there are pictures and full videos of Faith Shared services. I found the one at the National Cathedral where Rev. Gaddy spoke, particularly moving. If you’re interested in reading about some other Faith Shared services there were articles in the Washington Post, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, and many others that are being constantly added to the Faith Shared Press Page. You can also check out the Faith Shared resources page for readings and a resource kit for creating an Interfaith Community.
Clergy from the three Abrahamic faiths pray together in the Faith Shared Service at the National Cathedral in Washington. Left to Right, Rabbi Amy Schwartzman, Rev. Samuel T. Lloyd II, Imam Mohammed Magid, Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy. Photo Credit: Edward Graham
For more on the preparations for Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding check out these discussions with Dr. Maher Hathout and Rev. J. Edwin Bacon on State of Belief. (Please note, these are extended versions of the interviews originally broadcast nationwide.)