By Joyce Coronel, The Catholic Solar
A rabbi, a priest and a Muslim stroll right into a diocesan constructing on a Sunday morning.
Nevertheless it isn’t a joke — it’s an interfaith gathering the place individuals of the world’s three main monotheistic religions got here collectively for a day of fellowship, celebration and dialogue.
In a world beset by battle and division, it was an indication that peace is feasible.
The occasion, Peoples of the E book, was held on the Diocese of Phoenix’s Diocesan Pastoral Heart Jan. 8 and arranged by the Crosier Fathers and Brothers in addition to the Sema Basis, drew 137 individuals. Fr. Bob Rossi, OSC, a Crosier Father, was one of many organizers. He famous that the Jan. 8 gathering was preceded by two earlier dialogues held between space Muslim and Christian communities. The primary handled the 2 religions’ view of Mary, the Mom of Jesus, and the second examined Islam and Christianity’s view of Jesus Christ.
Peoples of the E book was a primary of a form as a result of it included the Jewish neighborhood and sought to create dialogue across the Scriptures of every of the three religions plus their particular person views on human dignity.
“I believe the entire goal is to assemble the individuals of the three faiths between whom there have been traditionally some important tensions and conflicts — not excluding the Scriptures as a supply of a few of them — and to get individuals collectively simply to talk with each other about what their Scriptures imply to them, how they information their lives and ultimately what we now have in frequent with the Scriptures,” Fr. Rossi mentioned.
Every of the religions introduced a brief celebration of their religion and 5 Scripture verses that highlighted their faith’s view on human dignity.
Rabbi Debbie Stiel of Temple Solel in Phoenix mentioned the Peoples of the E book occasion drew people who find themselves open to interfaith dialogue and highlighted the commonalities between the three religions.
“In the entire Scriptures, the Koran, the New Testomony and the Hebrew Bible, there are quotes concerning the significance of all of humanity, that all of us share a connection to God and that we must be good to all individuals,” Rabbi Stiel mentioned. “All persons are essential and deserving of respect, deserving of dignity. It was essential for individuals to listen to that.”
Rabbi Stiel pointed to Genesis 1:27, rendered within the Hebrew Scripture as “God made the human in God’s picture, within the picture of God the Holy One made the human, female and male, made by God.”
The Crosier Fathers and Brothers held an Enthronement Ceremony to enthrone the E book of the Gospels.
“We had incense and candles certainly one of us held the ebook and we processed by means of the assembly room to the place the place all the opposite Scriptures had been on show,” Fr. Rossi mentioned.
Muslim kids chanted verses from the Quran and the Jewish individuals demonstrated how the Torah scrolls are introduced forth at a synagogue.
“You might really feel the vitality with every of these little celebrations,” Rabbi Stiel mentioned.
One of many Christian verses highlighted on the occasion was Galatians 3:28, “There may be neither slave nor free, there is no such thing as a female and male, for you’re all one in Christ Jesus.”
Gokhan Dorum, CEO of the Sema Basis, a Muslim group in Chandler, served on the committee that deliberate the Peoples of the E book occasion. A local of Turkey, he mentioned the interfaith assembly introduced individuals collectively.
“It was one thing placing for everyone yesterday. Usually on the planet presently there’s a tendency to be extra polarized, extra radicalized, in each sense, not solely within the Center East,” Dorum mentioned.
“There was a very totally different ambiance [at the event]. We had been along with Jewish and Catholic or Christian mates and there was a really heat and honest local weather that everyone shared what was of their hearts.”
Members at Peoples of the E book sat at tables with members of different religion traditions for dialog round their beliefs.
Alan Zeichick, a layman from Temple Chai, additionally helped plan the occasion.
“Though we now have three totally different religions, and lots of the issues that we consider are totally different, with regards to a very powerful factor, which is individuals, we now have so much in frequent and we will maybe discover fellowship with one another,” Zeichick mentioned. “It’s a really hopeful message.”
Fr. Rossi mentioned he has greater than hope. He has expertise with the earlier dialogue occasions held.
“It went past our fights, our tensions. It went to what it’s that we admire and share,” Fr. Rossi mentioned. “And on the finish of the dialogue, individuals had been exchanging numbers and addresses and invites. It was simply fantastic.”