Unification News for September 2002
Detroit ACLC Interfaith Prayer Breakfast
by Davis Kasbow
ACLC reached a new level in Detroit as it hosted its first Interfaith Prayer Breakfast and Dialogue on Saturday August 17th at Fort St. Presbyterian Church. The program opened with a Christian hymn and invocations by representatives from the Hindu, Islam, Catholic and Baha’i faiths.
After breakfast Rev. Mozie Lee Smith, of Huggins AME Church, set the stage for a dialogue session with her message on, "The Universal God". She truly is a universal person. She testified how her parents brought her to many churches as a child. She prayed the rosary, went to Baptist revivals and attended Methodist Sunday School sessions. She was very proud of her experiences in Korea with Rev. Moon. She described her trek up to the Rock of Tears, the original house where the Unification Church began and her trip to a Buddhist Temple in Japan on her way home. She also described prayers and services she attended in Mosques and Synagogues in Jerusalem. She proclaimed that she found God in all of these places.
For the dialogue session representatives of the four religions sat at a head table. The topic of the discussion was "The Family". Each presenter, as well as each person in attendance, had a copy of the chapter on the Family from the World Scriptures: An Anthology of Sacred Texts. Before each person spoke the moderator read a representative section from that person’s religious tradition from the book.
The presenters, though they did not stay on topic, gave an insightful look at their religion. Dr. Vishnu Patel, the representative of Hinduism explained that, although Hinduism is famous for having many "Gods" they in fact know that there is but one ultimate reality, God. Each "God" of the many they list is one aspect of this one God.
Mr. Marvin Hughes, of the Baha’i faith, read a prayer written by the son of the founder of Baha’i when he visited America in 1912: "Confirm this revered nation to upraise the standard of the oneness of humanity, to promulgate the Most Great Peace, to become thereby most glorious and praiseworthy among all the nations of the world. O God! This American nation is worthy of Thy favors and is deserving of Thy mercy. Make it precious and near to Thee through Thy bounty and bestowal."
Sister Virginia Schmitt, the representative of Catholicism, related her past growing up as one of twelve children on a farm in Minnesota and presented the trinity as a model for the family. She related the Catholic teaching that in the unity of the family we experience the unity of the trinity and the deepest level of God’s love.
Imam Saleem Mumin, of the Moslem faith, stressed the universal character of God and focused on our relationship with Him. He described our tendency to be thankful for the boat that saves us from our various troubles but to not thank God who sent it.
We closed again with a prayer from each representative. We received good feedback after the program. The guests related to us that they felt an atmosphere of unity that was refreshing. We felt it was a good foundation for the September Blessing and future ACLC work.
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