Every faith is amazing! And as one of the participants in tonight’s Amazing Faith Dinner Dialogue noted, faith is more than the absense of a doubt. Faith is what shapes us from within and propels us into action without, reaching out to the world and its citizens and sharing a smile. Smile, as another participant noted, is contagious. And so is peaceful dialogue.
Let all associate, therefore, in this great human garden even as flowers grow and blend together side by side without discord or disagreement between them.
(Abdu’l-Baha, The Promulgation of Universal Peace, p. 68)
Blessed by the help of wonderful friends who helped with cooking the most delicious vegetarian food one could hope for, I was able to host the wonderful Dinner Dialogue organized by the Interfaith Conference of the Metropolitan Washington (IFC). This was not the largest but certainly most diverse group I have ever hosted at my humble abode. The moderator, a young intern with the IFC is Protestant Christian but his girlfriend is Baha’i. There were two Muslim ladies, one a school teacher from Bangladesh and the other one, a poet from Indonesia, and there was a young Catholic woman who works on conflict resolution through fostering dialogue and understanding with the Islamic religious schools of Pakistan.
The dinner was followed by a moderated dialogue during which we all were asked to answer questions prepared in advanced, randing from how personal our relationship with God is, through the role of our faith communities in getting us through difficult times, to the nature of evil and our personal role in confronting it, whatever its source may be.
As everyone confirmed at the end of the dialogue, inter-religious peace is not only possible but inevitable, as it is the goal of our Creator. It was a perfect opportunity for me to invite my guests to the Monday Prayer Station and many of them expressed interest in attending.
One can only be grateful for the wonderful times we live in, times of openness and curiosity and sharing and appreciating.
May God bless us all, no matter what our religion of origin maybe, because the religion of our destination is the same:
This is the changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future.
(Baha’u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u'llah, p. 136)