All-Faith

The agency I work for is hosting a conference this weekend for delegates from its sister agencies across the world.  I’ve been helping out, greeting people as they arrive, doing odd jobs, and attending a handful of sessions myself.

One event I made sure I made was this morning’s All Faith Prayer gathering.  Call it a morbid curiousity to see how horribly we failed at the concept.  I rarely hear of a successful one.  Actually, I think we did extremely well.

The leading clergymember (an employee at our agency) led off with a song I’d never heard before, but which I found quite energizing.  With the aid of Google, I’ve discovered it’s based on  Psalm 118:24, which of course is from acceptable scripture for any Abrahamic religion.  And the context is generic enough to be appreciated by anyone.
He then asked for members of the audience to stand up and announce things happening in their community which make them feel blessed.  A nice tradition to make the service interactive.

Then someone sang Amazing Grace, but it was a performance, and not treated as a sing along.  It’s a beautiful song, and I have always felt so.  The context is certainly outside of my faith, but it doesn’t alter its beauty.   There is nothing offensive to me about witnessing the prayer of someone else as long as one isn’t coerced to join along.

The leader of the service also read from Matthew, but it was a passage referencing the end of times, and judgment, which is something all Abrahamic faiths at least share in common.  He never once named the Lord.
He wrapped up with a sermon that could have come from any faith based on the activities of our agency, the good we do for the world, and how the world would be a better place if everyone gave a little bit of themselves back to the community.