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June 2020 THeme: Connections
As we come here as strangers, we are connected by our faiths and hopefully leave this evening as friends.
Through our meeting together we gain joy, strength and inspiration from each other.
Our faiths, are partly formed by, our holy words long preserved, which we all hold dear and which are evidently put into practice by people who attend Fife Interfaith.
The other week, we had a power cut, which lasted most of the day. As my husband and I are both working from home, we soon realised that we were unable to continue our work – no power, no internet. Arghh! Ok then, lets’ have a coffee break instead. No power no boiling kettle. Let’s pop the TV on and amuse ourselves that way – no power, no TV. Let’s go and visit someone to fill some time and get a cuppa – oh no its lockdown and we are not allowed to go visiting and there are no coffee shops open…
Without power, we felt powerless. In lots of ways. And that’s how I am sure we all would feel without our faith, we would be powerless. We need that daily connection to our holy words. We also need that connection to like-minded people, to be encouraged to keep on track with our faith, to keep practicing our faith in actions as well as self-nourishment. What an honour it is to be free to share our faith with others, in an environment that connections are there without question as we all have a faith and are accepted as we are. As the common connection of all faiths is surely, love.
On my first visit to an Interfaith meeting, I was nervous to walk in the door. I didn’t know anyone. I only knew a few people who practiced a different faith from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland me. Yet, I wanted to extend my horizons, look out the window and get to know my neighbour regardless of their faith or belief system. After several years of building up courage, to attending my first meeting, I took a deep breath and walked in the door.
Connections made 25 years earlier at Playgroup, were immediately generated and ignited again following a spark of recognition with someone in the room. I relaxed, felt comfortable and by the end of the meeting, knew that the Fife Interfaith group was cooking with gas and I was going to return, to make more new connections!
The new connections which I have made, have been really powerful to me on a spiritual level. I am learning about other faiths and beliefs and in turn I am sharing my new knowledge with friends and family. Opening, their minds to new ideas, breaking down their prejudgments and prejudices born from ignorance and fear. Through these connections I am reminded of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis – Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.
Make me a channel of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me bring your love.
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord
And where there's doubt, true faith in you.
Connections come in all different forms as do faiths, but as long as our connections grow, we too will also grow in our faith.
By Louisa Turner.