Bahai News - Faiths to join at New Year's Saturday, December 29, 2001

Faith Matters

Faiths to join at New Year's

Holiday season form-letter greetings brought more this year than news of promotions and good grades, a lost tooth or a new puppy.

Many carried reminders of Sept. 11.

People wrote that they have decided to put family ahead of work. After all, they reasoned, people in the World Trade Center called their loved ones, not their bosses.

A special service New Year's Eve echoes another lesson from Sept. 11: Religion in the wrong hands can be dangerous, but religion in the hearts of good people can bring peace.

For the third year, members of different faiths will gather Monday in Newport, Ky., to pray for peace. The public is invited to the service at the Syndicate Ballroom, 18 East Fifth St., Newport.

Doors open at 2 p.m. with the service from 2:30 to 4 p.m. The service ends with the ringing of the World Peace Bell. (Information: 859-655-9500).

About 1,000 people typically attend the service, organized by the World Peace Bell Education Program and the Brueggeman Center for Interreligious Dialogue at Xavier University.

This year, Bahai's from around Ohio will perform a modern dance celebrating religious diversity.

A Buddhist monk will chant in Pali, the original language of Buddha, then translate it to English.

There will be a recitation from the Quran and a story about peace read by the Quakers. The North American Indian Council will send blessings to the audience with a shawl dance.

Sikhs, Jains, Hindus and Jews also will participate.

As will Christians, through the sweet sound of the New Jerusalem Male Chorus, "the most powerful, spiritual singers I've ever heard," says Sheila Speth, program director for the Brueggeman Center.

Sept. 11 isn't the primary focus of the event. Organizers deliberately decided to talk more about peace.

"Terrorism has happened before in all parts of the world," Ms. Speth says. “Although this year it hit us incredibly hard, we wanted to stand in solidarity with people who deal with this year in and year out. ... We wanted to focus on moving ahead and working on world peace.”
Send religion news to, or contact Richelle Thompson at (513) 755-4144, or 755-4150 (fax).

©Copyright 2001, The Cincinnati Enquirer

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