Bahai News - Bergen prayer service will focus on Middle East
Bergen prayer service will focus on Middle East
Sunday, October 15, 2000
By CHARLES AUSTIN
An interfaith service Monday will give people who may be on opposite sides
of the Middle East debate a chance to offer joint prayers that the troubled
region may find peace.
The service will take place on the steps of the Bergen County Courthouse
beginning at 7:30 p.m., said the Rev. Stephen Giordano, head of the Bergen
County Council of Churches, one of the sponsors of the event.
The prayer service is also sponsored by the Interfaith Brotherhood and
Sisterhood Committee, a county group that has been encouraging cooperation
and friendship between religions for several years.
"We agreed unanimously that we should not be silent in the face of
escalating tension in the Middle East," Giordano said at a recent meeting.
He said that despite differences of opinion on what the "right solution"
might be, "we thought it important that we have an opportunity to come
together across faith boundaries to offer prayers for peace in the Middle
Giordano, pastor of Clinton Avenue Reformed Church in Bergenfield, said
that the interfaith group was aware that "some of the people in this
prayer vigil may -- on the day before or the day after -- be involved in
protests or support rallies" with partisan views on Middle East questions.
"We have no problem with that as long as the protests are not accompanied
with violence," he said. "Anyone involved in violence is not being true
to the teachings of their faith."
At the prayer service, he said, people from Roman Catholic, Protestant,
Orthodox Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahai, and Hindu communities will be
asked to "offer a prayer from within their tradition, focused on asking
God to bring peace to the Middle East."
Also scheduled for Monday is a community gathering in support of Middle
East peace at 7:30 p.m. at the Barnert Temple in Franklin Lakes.
Rabbi Elyse Frishman of the Barnert Temple, Rabbi Rachel Rembrandt of Beth
Chaverim in Mahwah, and others will lead the congregation in prayer and
"We are heartsick over the violence and loss of life in Israel," said
Frishman, who called Monday's event "not a political rally, but a spiritual
gathering of community."
About 500 people from several congregations in northwest Bergen County are
expected to attend.
©Copyright 2000, Bergen Record Corp.
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