Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
Life Question: Is interfaith cooperation important?
On Thursday, February 21, myself, Rev. Wayne Walther and District Lay Leader Jane Stone attended Joint Religious Legislative Coalition's 'Day on the Hill. Faizan Malik, a tenth grader at the Al-Amal School in Fridley delivered a wonderful opening prayer to God for the start of the conference. Dr. Sayyid Syeed, National Director of the Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances of the Islamic Society of North America in Washington, D.C. Dr. Syeed spoke about interfaith cooperation and told us that the "spirit of faith overrides everything." We are given great blessings, but humanity is in danger due to situations such as poverty, sickness and homelessness. Dr. Syeed spoke of three types of people:
*A grade--the faithful person who sees evil(poverty, sickness, homelessness, persecution etc.) and gets involved to remove that evil.
*B grade--the faithful person who sees evil and expresses feelings and opinions about it but takes no personal action.
*C grade--the faithful person who sees evil but does not take action to correct the situation or provide leadership; he/she worships and believes but has no motivation to act.
The 800 of us attending 'Day on the Hill' were told that we are "A grade" people, and it is our duty to help others move up in grade. We have a responsibility and duty to help both the oppressors and the oppressed. This is a global role, we must be informed and involved.
After the morning at River Center, we boarded buses to the Capitol, where we met with Senator Matt Schmit and Representative Tim Kelly. Among the issues we discussed with them were The Family Economic Security Act(to help end poverty), Human Trafficking(Minnesota was declared the 8th worst city in the U.S. for Trafficking of juveniles), Homes for All(to provide affordable housing and end homelessness), and Childhood Hunger(to eliminate the co-payment for school lunches for low-income families). I also presented both Senator Matt Schmit and Representative Kelly with information about The Voice of the Martyrs which included information about the programs projects we do and what steps we can take and have already taken to end persecution around the world so that all can worship freely in an atmosphere of respect, understanding and acceptance.
What are some ways you can think of to promote interfaith cooperation?