10TH ANNIVERSARY REFLECTION BY
Member, Advisory Board
The Interfaith Peace Project
My relationship with The Interfaith Peace Project began in earnest on a very warm and sunny Labor Day weekend in 2009. I had been to a few events of The Interfaith Peace Project at St. Ignatius Church, but this day is the day while visiting the Center, I fell and broke my arm requiring surgery to repair the damage. This brought me closer to the people at The Interfaith Peace Project, and it was shortly after this fall that I began helping June Kirk with our website.
In my early years, I attended churches that taught and believed anyone who was not of the Christian Faith or anyone who worshiped “idols” and believed in other gods would go to hell. It was a giant step for me when I became a Roman Catholic, but another huge step occurred when I became involved with The Interfaith Peace Project. Here I found people of all faith traditions equally sincere in their beliefs, and sharing the main tenants of my Christian beliefs: work so that the hungry are fed, the homeless are housed, and the naked are clothed.
My favorite memory of The Interfaith Peace Project is the celebration of the International Day of Peace at St. Ignatius Catholic Church in 2010. My newly found belief system was confirmed on this Interfaith weekend. The Interfaith Peace Project brought together many, many people of different faiths. I remember each faith group had a table in the giant tent outside of the church. That weekend, I talked to people from many faith traditions: Buddhism, Mormon, Hindu, Jewish, Islam, Seventh-day Adventist, Catholics and other Christians. As Fr. Tom likes to say, I didn’t meet faith traditions; I met people who practiced their faith tradition. It was a truly significant and cherished event in my life.
It has been my honor and pleasure to continue volunteering for The Interfaith Peace Project as Communications Director for the past eight years. During that time, I have met so many wonderful people and learned so much about the caring faith communities in Antioch and the East Bay. My work with our website, interfaithpeaceproject.org, has both challenged my computer skills and brought me a great sense of doing something to bring peace in our world.
I want to thank the founders of The Interfaith Peace Project, Fr. Tom Bonacci and Rev. Andrea Goodman, and the first Board of Directors, Pat Black, June Kirk, Lonnie Bristow, M.D., and Rev. Patrick Davis, for having the insight to found and direct such an inspiring non-profit, The Interfaith Peace Project. I would also like to thank our newest Board Members, Melissa Granchi and Leah Maxwell-Styles for stepping up and joining us; and our entire Advisory Board who stand with us daily! (Please see our website section entitled “About Us” to see more information about these insightful members.)