On Sunday, March 6, our interfaith community will gather to celebrate our most dearly held values and our connections with one another. At this year’s World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation we will recognize our 2016 World Sabbath Peacemaker Awardee, Rev. Faith Fowler, author and Executive Director of Cass Community Social Services, for her work in caring for the homeless. And we will take time to remember its founder, Rev. Rodney Reinhardt, who passed away in December.
Rev. Reinhart, an Episcopal priest, established the World Sabbath service at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills in 2000. Rev. Reinhart was deeply concerned about the ways that women, gays and racial minorities were abused and mistreated in American society, and took the message of inclusion and equality out to the world. With his long career of preaching, caring for people, and changing the world, Rev. Reinhart viewed his ministry as a matter of engaging people in making connections between their faith and their everyday lives. He saw this as especially true as people sought out God in the midst of the struggles, injustice, changes, and transitions that they experienced.
The World Sabbath will include:
- A Jewish youth blowing the shofar
- A Muslim youth chanting the Muslim Call to Prayer
- A Hindu youth blowing the conch shell
- Middle school, high school and college youth giving additional prayers for world peace from many other religions- Jain, Buddhist, Baha’i, Zoroastrian, Christian, Hindu, Native American, Sikh, Quaker, and Unitarian faith traditions.
- Clergy reading the Congregation Pledge together about building a world of tolerance, justice, faithfulness, and peace.
It is a joyous celebration, rich with music. Bands, choirs, drummers, and dance groups will illuminate the diverse languages, cultures, traditions and religions represented at World Sabbath
One of the highlights of each World Sabbath is the Children of Peace, school children from third to seventh grade who will who decorate white cotton banners with their ideas about World Peace. These children from many faith traditions, proudly waving their peace banners, will come together to sing the son, and singing “We Are Children of Peace” as they march in a processional into the sanctuary.
Each year, these banners become part of a permanent tradition, sewn into Children of Peace Quilts which are displayed at the World Sabbath services.
“The interfaith community that comes together for the World Sabbath — particularly the Children of Peace — has grown immensely over the past 17 years,” says organizer Gail Katz. “The mission of the World Sabbath is to teach our diverse population in Metro Detroit that the work of building a community of justice, equality, respect and peace is a calling that we all share – all of us, no matter what our faith tradition might be. But most important is the fact that we are impacting our children, our teens, and our young adults.”
The Fort Street Presbyterian Church in Detroit will host the 17th World Sabbath for Religious Reconciliation on Sunday, March 6, from 4 to 6 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there.