This is not a political rant or an “us” versus “them” debate post. Today while raising money for the Windham Area Interfaith Ministry’s “Walk for Warmth”, raising monies to provide assistance for families and people in need this coming winter with warm clothes, heating cost assistance, and utility bill emergency funding, I was able to attend and participate in an interfaith service. In this service, all the major faiths were representing in the spirit of inclusiveness with one major theme on everyone’s mind.
Making America Thankful Again.
Somehow we have really lost sight of how good we really have it in the United States, where each of us can exercise our freedom to worship as we please in the places of worship of our choice. We also live in a country where our founding documents guarantee us the right to express our views peacefully, publically, and privately without fear of persecution or prosecution. We live in a country where under the law, all persons regardless of race, gender, culture, religion, age, range of ability or challenge, or sexual orientation and gender expression are afforded the same rights and protections as anyone else.
We live in one of the richest nations in the world. Ours is a country that has not suffered or endured warfare within its borders since perhaps the Civil War. Ours is a nation of innovation, creativity, diversity, resilience, and perseverance. Ours is a nation of democratic dialogue and progressive ideas and strong values.
While we have many flaws and challenges ahead, we are fortunate to be a country that rises to those challenges.
This prayer was offered at the interfaith service:
“Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held nurtured over the generations. Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect. Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows. Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken. Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly. So that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender, or skin color. Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness. So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors. And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors. Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty. And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Amen.”
— Rabbi Harold S. Kushner