Interfaith Group Honors 9/11 Here

We are headed into the tenth anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.  Yes, there’s something you can do to mark the anniversary.  Something more than sitting and soaking up all the TV documentaries.

On Sunday, from 10am to noon, you’re invited to an interfaith service with neighbors.  The Montclair Presbyterian Church (map) will play host to the Kehilla Community Synagogue and Islamic Cultural Center, in a celebration of local spirit.  Even if you’re not religious, why not join them?

These Christian, Jewish and Muslim houses of worship have a lot in common.  After all, congregants reside in Oakland and want to live in peace and harmony (let there be peace on earth, but we digress).  Take a look at these invitation excerpts:

So much violence, hatred, and estrangement is carried out in the name of religion.  Often overlooked, however, are the reconciling efforts made at local levels between people of various faiths who truly have a lot in common.  On 9/11 we will mourn all that has gone wrong, but will also celebrate all that contributes to peace and understanding among us.  Rabbi David Cooper and Imam Rahim Nobahar will join with Pastor Beth Buckingham-Brown in leadership.

The September 11 attacks of ten years ago were a work of hatred designed to drive people apart from each other and foment intolerance and discord.  Too much of the response to the violence of 9/11 has furthered intolerance and hatred.  

Both spiritually and pragmatically, ending the cycle of violence and hatred must begin with ourselves and what better way to do so than to pray as Muslims, Jews, and Christians together.

We pray that we should understand that prayer is not enough and that we will need to work and struggle together and also, play and celebrate together if we are to be effective in making peace a more likely reality and also if we are to be the change that we seek.

On Sunday, this Montclair service seems like a simple way to commemorate the Al-Qaeda attacks — and how we should work, struggle, play and celebrate together.  It’s an opportunity to reach out.