Sunday night in the Tabernacle on Temple Square was the place to be! Wow! The Interfaith Roundtable put together an enriching evening of “Many Faiths One Family”, which enhanced a persons perspective to appreciate the way one worships God. The name God is used to describe Hashem, Jesus, Allah, Krishna, Supreme Creator, Father Sky and many other names that symbolizes the absolute.
The evening began with Priest Gurmeet Singh, from the Sikh faith offering the opening prayer and temple members praying with him. Then a call to prayer from the Jewish, Muslims and Oklevueha Native American Church was offered. Prayers are sacred and tonight they were given in behalf of the world, along with the people sitting in the room. A powerful strength of unity came over the room, especially when Medicine Man, James Mooney asked the audience to join hands and hum “Amazing Grace”. Presiding Bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, H. David Burton thanked everyone for coming together for this special time.
Derek Miller, Chief of Staff to Governor Gary R. Herbert announced that “…in order to promote harmony and understanding among all faiths, beliefs and cultures; Whereas, because there is a need for greater understanding between different beliefs and faith traditions, we join, in the spirit of collaboration and respect, in celebration with others in our community to envision an annual month dedicated to fostering appreciation for the diverse faiths and beliefs in Utah…”.
There are 70 different religions in the Salt Lake area alone, this allows for doors of understanding to stay open. Black history and Interfaith will share February, to honor their heritage and purpose.
The night was full of music. The religions represented in performance were; the Quakers, Jewish, Greek Orthodox, Islam, Thai Buddhist, Hindu, Baptist, Buddhism, and a multifaith choir. The Mormon church provided the facility, programs and it’s ongoing support. Each group is an asset to this organization.
Before the evening ended Interfaith Chair; Alan Scott Bachman shared his observation that 30 times throughout the night people expressed caring for the stranger and less fortunate. Stating that “We tend to fear others, than love. Each religion has faced mob rule that acts out of fear instead of knowledge and understanding”. He advised children that when they see someone different, reach out to them, because ALL our Holy Ancestors have been mistreated, and no one should feel that way again”. Hey reader…this goes for us older folks too! Now, back to his beautiful expression, as he spoke in Hebrew and then translated in English, “The Holy One, is Source of all life and it’s in the Holy One that we see the light, for her ways are Holiness and all her ways of Peace…If we are not on a path of peace we are not on the path”.
Father Javier Virgen, Catholic Diocese offered a prayer for peace. It was a fabulous evening of people wanting to show love, cooperation and peace, while respecting the diversity and beliefs held within each religion.