by Tom Cordaro, Pax Christi USA Ambassador of Peace
The 8th annual World Peace Day Inter-Faith Prayer Service, co-sponsored by Pax Christi Illinois, was held on January 1st on the campus of North Central College in Naperville. The theme for this years’ service was, Breaking Down the Mysteries Between Us: Seeking Peace Through Understanding.
In explaining the hope for this years’ celebration, Pax Christi Ambassador of Peace Tom Cordaro stated, “Even though this past year has been marked by incidents of unspeakable violence, polarization and hostilities in our nation and around the world, the truth is that more and more people of faith are coming together across religious and cultural boundaries to give witness to our common humanity. There is more that unites than there is that divides us. Our hope is that this service will build on the successful interfaith efforts of the last year and deepen the bonds of respect and love between us.”
Over 25 area faith communities co-sponsored this service, including members from the Hindu, Christian, Baha’i, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist, Unitarian Universalist and other faith traditions. At the climax of the service, all the participants (over 300) were invited to the stage with a colored sticker with their name written on it to place it on a global map with no political boundaries.
Inviting participants forward, Cordaro gave the following instructions: “We will not search out our home country or place of birth for our sticker; instead we will build a new continent of color and we will call it ‘Solidarity.’ Our individual stickers will not be in isolation from others; instead they will connect to each other in a cluster of color and we will call it our ‘Multi-Colored Community.’ Our individual stickers will not stand out from all the others; instead they will create random patterns of color and we will call it the ‘Color of the Common Good.’ And when we have completed the task, our individual stickers will become much more than we could have ever imagined, because together we are a vision of beauty.”