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.