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Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Interfaith celebration promotes peace

EMILY BERG/Staff Writer

Giving thanks is one thing the various religions of the world agree on.
Story
PhotoDarrald Bennett / Staff Photographer

The Young Adult Choir from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Hesperia performs at the Interfaith Thanksgiving on Tuesday.

Throwing aside differences of Jesus, Allah, Buddha and the God of Abraham, members of the Interfaith Council of the High Desert gathered Tuesday night to grow in understanding and knowledge of each other at a special Thanksgiving celebration.

This was the fifth year for the annual Interfaith Thanksgiving and the theme was “One People of Peace.”

Members from seven religions Judaism, Buddhism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Catholicism, Religious Science, Islam and Baha’i met at Holy Family Catholic Church in Hesperia to give thanks and to share about peace in their religion.

About 300 people attended.

“Our main mission is to dispel the intolerance that exists because we don’t know each other,” said Joy Scheetz, a founding member of the council who serves as its secretary.

The purpose is not to synthesize into one religion but to grow in understanding and give insight into the other religions, Scheetz said.

Buddhists believe that everything in the world depends on everything else. As a small child, people depend on others to provide for them, said the Rev. Bodhi Muktika of the Desert Zen Center.

“How can you not give thanks for everything there is in the world?” Muktika said.

Gene Selig of the Congregation Bamidbar Shel Ma’alah in Victorville attended the celebration to ask God to intervene so the United States will not go to war with Iraq.

“Hopefully by bringing the people and the synagogue together we can have a more powerful prayer going to heaven, one big prayer saying please God avert this terrible situation,” Selig said.

Peace is an experience of God, and if a person says they believe peace is possible it should show in their actions, said the Rev. David Phears of the Hi-Desert Church of Religious Science.

“I can’t say I believe in peace and speak of war,” Phears said.

Kate Mills of the Baha’i religion has attended the Thanksgiving event for the past five years.

“I’ve always appreciated it and been a part of it,” Mills said.

The Baha’i religion teaches that all religions come from a common source.

“It’s a Baha’i belief to consort with all religions in the spirit of friendliness,” Mills said.

Emily Berg can be reached at emily_berg@link.freedom.com or 955-5358.

©Copyright 2002. Daily Press (Victorville, CA, USA)


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