Several hundred people, representing Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths, gathered on Sept 11 at The Islamic School of Seattle for an Interfaith Reflection Service, entitled, "Three Years and a World Apart: Reflections on how far we've come and where we are going."
The service, organized by Together We Build A World Community (associated with the Christian Habitat for Humanity), the Seattle chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and thirteen Christian, Jewish and Muslim Seattle-based congregations, featured speakers from all three faiths who shared their personal experiences, community events, and future hopes related to September 11. Each emphasized the progress over the past three years in building bridges between faiths, as well as the need to further unite to recover as a nation and build a better world.
The night began with an introduction by Dr. Ann El-Moslimany, a founder and member of The Islamic School of Seattle, whose greeting in Arabic, Hebrew, and English reflected the evening's messages of peace from members of each community.
Leaders of the local Jewish, Islamic, and Christian communities spoke about their efforts to build relationships among the communities, reflecting upon their successes in bridging gaps and bringing people together. Acknowledging that much work still remains to be done, leaders expressed their faith and hope in God and in one another to build a peaceful world for the future.
Several leaders spoke about past and upcoming events focused on bringing members of different communities together, including a Habitat for Humanity building project in October this year.
The service also included a time of prayer at sunset for Muslim participants, led by Imam Mohamad Joban.
The night concluded appropriately with a candle-lighting service- the room filled with light from each person's small candle and voices lifted up singing "Peace is flowing like a river," symbolizing the overall message that the unity of individuals under the common faith in God and yearning for peace can bring light to this dark world.
The words of one young speaker summed up the evening's message of hope: "Peace [is] like a mountain. Christian, Muslim, and Jew- we all want the same thing- to reach the top of this mountain. All of us meeting tonight is one more step up the mountain."
For more information regarding upcoming events and ways to get involved, please visit:
Together we build a world community at www.togetherwebuild.org