(Note: At the 50th monthly
Interfaith Prayer and Reflection Service this past Sept. 11, the Rev.
Dan Bryant of First Christian Church gave the opening remarks for the
program, whose theme was "Many Paths of Wisdom ... One Creator
We thought readers would appreciate
Bryant's remarks at this time of year when "peace on earth ... good
will toward all" is a desire of so many - TRIM Review Team)
the book of Isaiah we read, "My house shall become a house of
prayer for all peoples."
Our congregation has been deeply
honored to provide a home for this service these past five years that
people of all faiths may be welcomed here.
I especially commend the organizers of
this service who have done such a fantastic job every month, working
hard to create an environment where members of every faith tradition
feel safe and respected, something that is much harder to do than one
advertisement We are all indebted to
their hard work and careful planning.
There are those in our country and
world who would politicize this day for their own partisan purposes.
My desire and hope is that we will
resist such temptation so that we may not only come together across our
diverse spiritual traditions, but also across our political persuasions
and all other divisions that separate us one from another to unite us in
our common humanity.
For that reason, it is important for us
to note that we come together in spite of, or maybe because of, our
Not only do we come here as Christians,
Jews, Muslims, Sufis, Buddhists, Goddess Tradition adherents, Sikhs,
Baha'is, Hindus, Native Americans and observers of many
other traditions, we also come as
monotheists, polytheists and even nontheists, people with a great
variety of beliefs and differences in our understanding of the Divine
Mystery of the cosmos. For the One I worship may not be the same One you
Heaven knows that we do not even have
agreement on the nature and being of God among those who worship in this
congregation on Sunday mornings!
Some of them, listening to my preaching
for 15 years, are still not convinced that I know what I am talking
about, but they come anyway, God bless them.
Tonight what we share is not a belief
in a single deity but a single humanity, not a common destination but a
It is not so much the truth we know or
think we know that unites us, but the search for truth, the desire to
know the "more" of life and the nothingness or the no
thingness of being.
So whether we are on separate paths up
one mountain or many mountains, or even no mountain, we are all people
on a journey.
In the recognition of that commonality
is the hope that we dare to believe and are so bold to proclaim, that
here tonight is the way to global community and true peace.
Daniel Bryant is senior minister of
First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Eugene, which hosts the
Interfaith Service of Prayer and Reflection on the 11th of every month.
This column is coordinated by Two Rivers Interfaith Ministries, a
network of more than 35 religious and spiritual traditions in the
Eugene-Springfield area. For more information, visit
www.interfaitheugene.org or call 344-5693.
FROM HEART TO HEART