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.