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10TH ANNIVERSARY REFLECTION BY
Patricia Black
Treasurer, Board of Directors
The Interfaith Peace Project

 

When I was asked to do a reflection for the 10th Anniversary of The Interfaith Peace Project (IPP), random thoughts, memories and experiences came to mind.  But the starting point for me was prior to 2007.

I recalled St. Agnes, the Interfaith Center at Carlow College in Pittsburgh, PA on a United Nations International Day of Peace.  I experienced 24 hours of diverse people of faith sharing their devotions, talents and insights.  There was poetry and music.  The participants were prayerful and gracious, joyfully sharing aspects of their faith traditions.  We spoke and gained some knowledge and understanding of our journeys.

The venue was beautiful.  Soft light fell on world scriptures, frescos and treasured artifacts.  It was truly a sacred space.

What a blessed opportunity “to pray for peace, to see what is true, to honor what is good, as we celebrate(d) what is holy in solidarity with all people, especially women, throughout the world”, the Center’s Mission.

It was a safe place.  It deeply touched my being.

The Interfaith Peace Project embraced the mission of the Interfaith Center in PA, and expanded it.

The Interfaith Peace Project’s work has many aspects:  education, dialogue, deepening spirituality, interfaith experiences and outreach.

Peace is difficult in our day-to-day lives.  We can be held hostage by our own attitudes, mistakes, prejudices, perceived slights or true injustices, which includes our beliefs about religions.

IPP is a safe place to explore, question and learn about other religions or world views.  It is a safe place but not a location.   Although we now have three centers that support the work and vision of interfaith peace, IPP is centered in the people being served.  It allows participants to ask questions and express their concerns by sharing their fears and experiences.  Participants are treated with respect even if their views are challenged.

The Interfaith Peace Project invites participants to appreciate the faith traditions of the world.  It affords the opportunity to meet and dialogue with people of other faith traditions.  The Interfaith Peace Project touches the hearts and minds of people, truly sacred space.