Friday 18 January 2008

We ARE Praying with You

What a difference. In a ceremony held at the chapel of Bishop Manogue Catholic High School, the new Bishop of Nevada the Right Reverend Dan Thomas Edwards was blessed by a variety of leaders across the religions. The same school and its students received a blessing - its interfaith work being important. The leaders who blessed the bishop were the Most Reverend Randolph Calvo, Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Reno; Buddhist priest Reverend William Bartlett; Jewish Rabbi Elizabeth Beyer; Hindu chaplain; Rajan Zed; Imam Abdul Barghouthi of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Bahai Trip Barthel; Reverend Onie Cooper of the Second Baptist Church and Native American faith leader Reynalda James. Also present and shaking hands were Father Charles Durante, Pastor of Saint Teresa of Avila Catholic Community of Carson City; Reverend William R. Millsap of Trinity Episcopal Church; Reverend Ruth Hanusa; and Reverend Rebecca with Reverend Rhys Andrews both of the International Community of Christ. Blessing the school and students were Reverend Jackie L. Leonard of St. John’s Presbyterian Church; Reverend Robert Petrovich of International Community of Christ; Brother Jeff Olsen of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Senior Pastor Carl F. Wilfrid of Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd; Rabbi Myra Soifer of the Temple Sinai-Reform; Reverend Laurie Chappelle of St. Catherine of Siena Episcopal Church; and Reverend John J. Auer, Pastor of Reno First United Methodist Church. There was a Father Mark speaking too. Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed and Imam Abdul Barghouthi of the Northern Nevada Muslim Community were prominent in both bishop and school blessings, the latter ceremony involving candles brought from various places of worship and were lit in the school gymnasium.

The bishop and school students heard readings from various scriptures: Rabbi Myra Soifer read Hebrew texts, Imam Bargouthie read from the Qur'an, and Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed read shlokas from the Rig-Veda (for the bishop and the school) Also Reynalda James brought special water from Pyramid Lake to bless Bishop Edwards as part of native spirituality.

Good photos published include Hindu chaplain Rajan Zed reading and various religious leaders after the Service. These are best saved and viewed full screen in a program like Irfan View.

So all these could join, participate and support the new bishop, and bless this school and students, and yet down in a Lancashire town of Padiham a group of "trinitarianism" Christians could not even tolerate Unitarians in case they were polluted.

Some interfaith prayers at the school blessing:

"May God continue today the work of reconciliation begun by many great leaders of faith." Imam Barghouthi

"Break down the walls between us." Rev. Robert Petrovich of International Community of Christ

"Whatever divides us might be overcome through wisdom, love and truth." Chaplain Rajan Zed

"God of all Light may hear and respond to our constant prayers." Brother Jeff Olsen of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

"Let us seal our unity in prayer, in love and in the hope of one human race." Father Mark

"We pray for the forgiveness of all people of faith, that we may remove any barriers of prejudice or intolerance so that the world's religions may recognize the similarities and beliefs we share." Rev. John J. Auer, Pastor of Reno First United Methodist Church

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