from Pax Christi Illinois
For the seventh year, Pax Christi Illinois organized an interfaith World Peace Day prayer service in DuPage County. This year’s service was held on the campus of North Central College in Naperville. The theme was “One Community, One World, One Call: Freedom, Compassion, Justice & Equality.”
Six speakers from different world religions shared their reflections on the theme from their unique religious perspective. The reflectors were: Rabbi Marc Rudolph, Congregation Beth Shalom, Naperville; Mr. Aness Rahman, Islamic Center of Naperville; Ms. Khadija Elaine (Walker) Famuyiwa-Williams, Baha’i Community of Naperville; Mr. Brij Sharma from the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago; Ms. Charlotte Lehmann, DuPage Unitarian Universalist Church; and Sr. Karen Nykiel, OSB, former Pax Christi Illinois regional representative.
Participants were invited to commit themselves to lead a more compassionate life according to the principles of the Charter of Compassion*. This Charter was also the focus of the interfaith commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11th, 201. This year’s World Peace Day Interfaith Prayer Service and the interfaith 9-11 tenth anniversary commemoration are both part of an interfaith effort to have the City of Naperville become a charter signatory.
Participants demonstrated this commitment by signing their names to strips of paper with the words of the pledge. These strips were then joined together in one long paper chain of compassion which will be presented to the Naperville City Council at some future date.
Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace, Tom Cordaro, stated, “We are trying to demonstrate that religion can be a force for tolerance compassion and cooperation for the common good. The more we can come together across religious boundaries, the less susceptible we will be to the lies and half-truths of the demagogues and perpetrators of hatred and mistrust.”
* For more information about the Charter of Compassion go to: http://charterforcompassion.org/share/the-charter.