Baha'i News -- Interfaith event celebrates peace
Tuesday, January 01, 2002
Interfaith event celebrates peace
World Peace Bell rings third time
By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer
NEWPORT A youth choir, joined by 800 other voices on New Year's Eve, closed 2001 fittingly,
with a rendition of Let There Be Peace on Earth.
The ballroom at The Syndicate was at standing room only for the third annual
Interfaith Service for World Peace, a two-hour celebration of peace and diversity that included songs,
dances and prayers from groups and individuals representing 10 faiths and cultures.
I'm just thrilled to be here, said Donna Lilley of Springfield Township as she walked from the
hall. I consider myself fortunate to take part in the service. It's a great idea. What could be better
than celebrating peace with people of different cultures and faiths?
The Rev. Damon Lynch Jr., pastor of the New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Carthage and a participant in all
three services, said this year's event has more meaning because of all we've been through. I think it
provides inspiration for all of us to do better in 2002.
Included in the service were representatives of Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Bahai, Hindu, Islamic and
American Indian religions and cultures.
The Interfaith Service was a joint effort of the World Peace Bell Education Program and The Brueggeman
Center for Interreligious Dialogue at Xavier University. The program concluded with the swinging and ringing
of the World Peace Bell, which is across from The Syndicate.
The New Jerusalem Male Chorus proved to be one of the hits of the program, performing the rousing hymns
Bound for Mount Zion and How I Got Over as a procession filed into the ballroom to
open the service, then responding to the Rev. Mr. Lynch's urging to sing, brothers, with
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot and I Learned To Lean On Jesus's Everlasting Arm near the
end of the afternoon.
With all that has occurred, especially Sept. 11, we have proven we can come back, we can do it,
the Rev. Mr. Lynch said. This was a wonderful expression of interracial and cultural togetherness.
Rosemary and Robert Weaver of Mount Washington said they had attended a similar but smaller interfaith
service at St. Joseph Church in Cincinnati's West End following the April riots.
I've always liked the idea of different religions coming together like this, said Ms. Weaver.
I also like seeing all the different cultures mingling and exchanging ideas.
Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli said the Interfaith Service was another important part of the city's rebirth.
The Peace Bell is the catalyst for this, he said. This is a long-term thing for the
Jeanne Marie Brightfire led a group from the North American Indian Council of Greater Cincinnati in a shawl
dance and then performed American Indian sign language to God Bless the USA while the audience
stood and sang along.
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