All religions to share hopes for peace
All religions to share hopes for peace
Bloomfield Hills church to host reconciliation
January 17, 2000
BY MEI-LING HOPGOOD
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
They will gather at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills on Saturday
night: Catholics, Baptists, Episcopalians and other Protestants, Jews and
Muslims, Bahai, New Age and perhaps a few Hindu followers.
They will begin with their traditions: an Islamic call to prayer, a
Hebrew call to worship, a Christian call to service and many others.
Then everyone will repent for past religious persecution and war and
pray for peace.
Welcome to the World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation, a service
in which all faiths will share an "interfaith holy day," organizers say.
With the theme of reconciliation permeating many religions this year,
some local people hope the idea will spread worldwide.
"This will be first time in my life to experience various religions
coming together and sharing love," said Alberta Blackburn, who attends
Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church in Detroit.
"This is, to me, a new wind blowing in various religions."
The Rev. Rod Reinhart, interim pastor at Trinity Episcopal Church in
Farmington Hills, came up with the idea. He wanted to find a way to get
people thinking about and protesting wars and persecution in the name of
religion. He came up with the idea of a service in which all faiths can
worship together. He chose the fourth Saturday in January because it was
close to the New Year and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Plus, the
service will be after sundown -- the end of the Jewish sabbath, just
before the Christian holy day and during the national week of Christian
The service will start at 7 p.m. The congregation will enter through
the Great West door, above which the Christian cross, the prayer wheel
of Buddha, the Star of David, the Native American supreme spirit, the
Chinese yin and yang and the crescent and star of Islam are engraved.
The rule is: If you will be offended by someone else's expression of
faith, don't come.
"It's unlike Thanksgiving services, when you can't say this and can't
say that so no one will be offended. We're reversing that," said the
Rev. Edward Mullins, organizer and pastor at Christ Church Cranbrook.
"We found it appalling to us that people would be offended by
people's expression of faith. If a Muslim wants to chant or mention
Allah or if a Jew wants to bring a Star of David or the Torah, they are
welcome to do so. If a Christian wants to mention Jesus or carry a
cross, they are welcome to do so."
Expect to get a sample of everything. Among the participants are the
Episcopal bishop of Michigan, Catholic deacons, rabbis and members of
the Islamic House of Wisdom and the Littlefield Presbyterian Church in
Dearborn. An Oakland County woman's drumming group is expected to
perform, and choirs from Greater New Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist
Church and Christ Church Cranbrook will sing.
Local jazz musician and poet Ann Holdreith will lead a meditation on
the ancient Sanskrit word "Om," which means peace.
Local people who have faced religious persecution will share their
stories: a Holocaust survivor, a Christian from Sudan, American Muslims.
The Rev. Kenneth James Flowers, senior pastor at Greater New Mt. Moriah,
will give a speech about unity.
Finally, religious leaders will sign a document committing themselves
to work for peace and justice. Then everyone will mingle and eat cookies
After Saturday's service -- which could attract anywhere from 50 to
1,000 people -- Reinhart will continue trying to spread the word.
Saturday's service is the first step, Reinhart said. "Religious
persecution is a real reality in this country, and we need to create a
situation where people of all faiths will get together and can say we
will not allow this around the world. And we will not allow this in our
Christ Church Cranbrook is located at 470 Church Road, off Lone
MEI-LING HOPGOOD can be reached at 248-586-2621 or
©Copyright 2000, Detroit Free Press
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