Baha'i News -- Group Poised For Prayer Night

Group Poised For Prayer Night; Spiritual Connection Offered If War Declared On Iraq

Have car keys, will pray: A new Denver interfaith group is offering a traveling night of prayer if war is declared on Iraq.

"The chemistry (is) so good, we wanted to perpetuate it," said Rabbi Bernard Gerson of Congregation Rodef Shalom.

Calling themselves simply the Interfaith Group, eight clergy of the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Bahai faiths are poised to offer a multistop prayer evening if hostilities break out.

Gerson said the clergy groups realized they had made a special spiritual connection when they first gathered to pray on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

They're now planning quarterly interfaith gatherings. The next one is scheduled for the new year.

In case of war, the group will offer a round robin of prayer from 6 to 9 p.m., with time built in to travel to three worship centers. The evening would be set on or near the day war breaks out.

Gerson said the group is emphasizing spirituality and will avoid a political message: "The whole pro-war versus anti-war issue is so sensitive in our communities, we don't want to get into that. We just want to pray for the safety of (all)."

Participants are Carema Cook of Muslims Intent on Learning and Activism; Marietta Dixon of the Bahai Faith; Gerson of Rodef Shalom; the Revs. Steve Hoffman and Beth Robey-Hyde of Parkview Congregational Church (UCC); the Rev. Brent Johnston, First Presbyterian Church of Aurora; the Rev. Craig Peterson, Mountainview Community Church; and Dennis Sienko of the Zen Center of Denver.

The three-hour prayer evening would begin at Rodef Shalom, 450 S. Kearney St., proceed to Parkview Congregational Church, 12444 E. Parkview Dr., in Aurora and conclude at the mosque at 2071 S. Parker Road.

Those who find the travel time onerous may elect to pray at just one place, Gerson said. The decision to use different locations was made because "while we have an ecumenical spirit, the reality is we have faith traditions and worship spaces all of which have their own integrity, and we didn't want to dilute the power of those respective contacts."

©Copyright 2000, Denver Rocky Mountain News

Page last updated/revised 021026
Return to the Bahá'í Association's Main Web Page