Interfaith in Medway

Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est.

Peo­ple in con­nec­tion with God: Quak­ers in silence, Mus­lims kneel­ing broth­er­ly togeth­er, Hin­dus in an explo­sion of col­ors. The Inter­faith group expe­ri­enced it all. Last Sun­day the annu­al pil­grim­age took place, in which we vis­it­ed sev­er­al places of wor­ship. The day began in the cathe­dral of Rochester. There was a small cer­e­mo­ny and the pil­grims were sent off with the song “Ubi Car­i­tas et amor, Deus ibi est”, Where there is char­i­ty and love, God is there.

Six months ago I came into con­tact with Med­way Inter­faith Action. It is a group that orga­nizes activ­i­ties where peo­ple from dif­fer­ent reli­gions can meet each oth­er. The pil­grim­age was not just a demon­stra­tion but also very sub­stan­tive. You could real­ly expe­ri­ence the dif­fer­ent tra­di­tions, because we could par­tic­i­pate in wor­ship and / or received an expla­na­tion of the reli­gion. Every­where we went it was clear that God gives so much and that peo­ple want to share this with oth­ers.

The sun of Thy mer­cy is shin­ing upon all,
and the clouds of Thy boun­ty show­er upon all.
Thy gifts encom­pass all, Thy lov­ing prov­i­dence sus­tains all,
Thy pro­tec­tion over­shad­ows all, and the glances of Thy favour are cast upon all.

This is a prayer from the Baha’i faith that was read dur­ing the day. Because the imagery comes back, the peo­ple them­selves become expres­sions of God’s gifts:

Gath­er all peo­ple beneath the shad­ow of Thy boun­ty
and cause them to unite in har­mo­ny,
so that they may become as the rays of one sun,
as the waves of one ocean, and as the fruit of one tree.

My world has become a bit larg­er. I have seen many places of wor­ship from the inside for the first time. I met a woman who prac­tices Sufi med­i­ta­tion, which I found real­ly inter­est­ing because I just read The Forty Rules of Love. I am def­i­nite­ly plan­ning to vis­it dif­fer­ent reli­gions more often, and meet new peo­ple.