That, in turn, allows us to worship and work together on common goals even when we are motivated by very different theological reasons for doing so.
The second way of doing interfaith prayer and worship poorly is to participate using a “lowest common denominator” approach, meaning that we only use language and form and content that everyone can agree with. That is a deeply flawed approach as well, because it is the mirror image of the first one: rooted in fear of difference and an admission of our own faith’s fragility in the face of it.
In the prayers on Thursday, you will experience interfaith prayer and worship done well, I believe. There will be not simply “religious” prayers, but prayers out of specific faith traditions and denominations because we do not direct our prayers “To Whom It May Concern,” but to and through whom we believe God to be.
There will be elements that embody different beliefs and practices than our own; there will be elements from our own Christian faith that are expressed a bit differently than Presbyterians would typically do; and there will be elements that we all can affirm in general, such as our common commitments to working for a world defined by justice, compassion, community, and peace. And we can do that even when the theological beliefs that motivate those commitments are very different.
So: I hope you will join the Interfaith Hour of Prayer tomorrow at noon, not in spite of your Christian faith, but through it and because of it, because we need to be in constant prayer for ourselves and our world right now!
Grace and Peace,
To access via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 997 3326 9693 / Password: 2GTRWEPRAY
Or you can join via phone (audio only): 646-558-8656
Meeting ID: 997 3326 9693 / Password: 892820
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