The Tri-City Interfaith Council (TCIC) will host the Tri-Cities’ fifth annual World Interfaith Harmony Day Celebration on Saturday, February 2, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Niles Discovery Church. The event is free and open to everyone.
In 2010 the United Nations General Council established World Interfaith Harmony Week “to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.”
“TCIC has sponsored events to create harmony, understanding, appreciation, and respect of all people from all faiths and no faiths for over 30 years,” said the Rev. Jeffrey Spencer, current president of TCIC and senior pastor of Niles Discovery Church. “This Harmony Day Celebration pulls together people from over 15 faith traditions and no faith to share powerful ways we’re each bringing love, peace, and justice into the world.”
“If you are curious about any faith tradition, or if you’re longing for more harmony, please attend and enjoy the Celebration,” he added.
This is the first year that a “Concert of Love” has been added to conclude the Harmony Celebration. Songs from the Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian traditions will be taught to those who are interested by Jagmeet Kaur, Rosie Kasem, Rabbi Tsvi-Bar David with Rashid Patch, and Ofer dal Lal during the middle of the afternoon’s activities. At the same time, those who would rather talk than sing will be involved in interfaith “Conversations of Love.”
The “Concert of Love” that concludes the day’s Celebration will include highlights from the “Conversations of Love.” TCIC member Shamsa Rafay, who is Muslim, says, “I am always moved during the sharing at these events, because some people will say that they’ve never felt so loved by people from other faiths before.”
People will gather for the popular small group conversations – the “Conversations of Love” – either randomly or because they share an interest, such as visual arts, books, poetry, film, public speaking about faith, or delivering food to people.
TCIC chair of the planning committee, Cindy Sojourner said, “Our hope is the shared-interest groups will extend the harmony by continuing to meet in the future.”
“I’m excited that at least 5 artists from the Faith Trio Interfaith Art Exhibit in Oakland and Moina Shaiq, who does Meet a Muslim conversations, are joining us,” Sojourner added.
The Celebration begins with a half-hour of sharing refreshments and visiting information tables from over 10 faith traditions, including Judaism, Islam, Religious Science, Unitarian Universalist, Sikh, Moorish Science, Buddhist, Interfaith, and Christian. Then, after a greeting, people will move into their small groups for learning song and having conversations for 20 minutes. They will have an opportunity to gather for a second round of small group singing or conversation. Then everyone will gather for the “Concert of Love.”
This World Interfaith Harmony Celebration is sponsored by TCIC, the Alameda County Human Relations Commission, the Fremont Human Relations Commission, and the Union City Human Relations Commission. All people are welcome to attend all or any portion of the Celebration. Children will need to stay with their guardians. For more information about the Tri-City Interfaith Council, visit tcicouncil.weebly.com.