During January and February, Jacksonville was fortunate to welcome CARAVAN's traveling art exhibit, Abraham: Out of One, Many. CARAVAN is an international NGO with a mission focused on sustainable peacebuilding through the arts. The exhibit, currently touring the US after stops in Europe, features the art of 3 contemporary artists of Middle Eastern heritage and from Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith traditions. Their extraordinary art explores 5 themes from Abraham's story:
- Welcoming the Stranger
- Sacrificial Love
- Friend of God
- Living as a Pilgrim
Our Jacksonville Daughters of Abraham book group took full advantage of the exhibit. We held our monthly gathering to discuss Bruce Feiler's Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths in the exhibit space.
And with the support of OneJax
The purpose of the walk was to offer:
· A community-wide event to offer residents of different faith practices, particularly the Abrahamic faiths, the opportunity to walk and talk with others.
· An experiential interfaith learning activity that complements the art exhibit, and
· A public demonstration of the possibility of interfaith dialogue and civil discourse across our differences.
Participants could choose to walk 2.5 miles in the neighborhood surrounding the exhibit site or a shorter route on the church campus. We had almost 50 members of the community join us. After an orientation to pilgrimage that included some readings from students of the University of North Florida's Interfaith Center and some prompts to support conversations, we began our pilgrim's journey in silence. When directed, we broke our silence and began getting to know our fellow-pilgrims. Children and one pawed friend joined us.