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Prayers For Peace
As the Rev. Rodney Reinhart plans this year’s World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation, which will include participation by Rabbi Daniel Syme, he does so with the thought of ever-impending troubled times.
“We live today with the knowledge that war can break out in so many different parts of the world,” said the program’s founder, the Rev. Reinhart of St. Martha’s Episcopal Church in Detroit. “We also live with the knowledge that cruel and unjust regimes misuse and abuse religious faith for their own profit and power.”
With a central focus of “God’s Power to Heal a Suffering and Anxious World,” the 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, service will be held at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills led by the Rev. Ed Mullins.
“Our basic theme is the power of prayer in healing our world,” said the Rev. Reinhart. “This is a very sensitive time for so many communities and we are working hard to show how an interfaith day of prayer can help members of all faiths work together for peace.”
The World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation was originally established in 2000 out of concern for religious persecution and war in distant parts of Europe, Asia and the Middle East. “Today, religious hatred, terrorism and war are issues that touch people all over America and all over the world,” the Rev. Reinhart said.
This year’s program, the fourth annual, will feature religious leaders, including Rabbi Daniel Syme of Temple Beth El. He will address participants along with Muslim leader Najah Bazzy and Dr. Felix Rogers, head of the Cranbrook Peace Foundation.
“This is an opportunity for all of us in the religious community to join together in affirmation of the power of prayer and the possibility of tikkun olam [repairing the world],” Rabbi Syme said.
“Within the Jewish tradition, we see that God cannot heal the world alone. If there is going to be peace and healing, we must do more than talk about it and pray for it. We must pursue it actively and it must be a cooperative human venture shared by those of every faith if it is to be real.”
Other participants in the service will be interfaith activist Brenda Rosenberg of Bloomfield Hills; Imam Sayed Hassan Al-Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Detroit; Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, head of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn; and leaders from the Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and Bahai communities.
Choirs from Christ Church Cranbrook and Hope United Methodist Church in Southfield will perform as will the Sudanese drumming dancing choir from Lansing.
“The people of God may not command great armies,” the Rev. Reinhart said. “But we live under holy orders to pray for peace and we believe that God hears and wants to answer those prayers.”
©Copyright 2003, Detroit Jewish News (MI, USA)
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