Saturday, June 25, 2011

TOMORROW: Faith Shared in NY 3:45 p.m. 6/26/11

To all my New York readers:

I am writing to invite you to a very special event I have been helping out with that will be TOMORROW (Sunday) at 3:45 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine at Amsterdam and 112th.

All across the country tomorrow, churches will be bringing together leaders of different religious faiths in one service on one single day in order to celebrate religious harmony and send a message to counter the Islamophobia that has dominated much of the news of the past year.

This is going to be a really nice service and a FANTASTIC excuse to see this beautiful, world known church that is among the five largest in the world.

All the info on the event and the project on a national scale are below (more available at
Hope to see you tomorrow!

Faith Shared – June 26, 2011

The Cathedral joins dozens of churches across the country uniting
to promote mutual understanding and respect among faiths

New York, N.Y.  – This Sunday, June 26, Christian clergy at churches across the country will host readings from the Qur’an and other sacred religious texts as they welcome their Muslim and Jewish colleagues for Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding.  Faith Shared is a project of Interfaith Alliance and Human Rights First, seeking to send a message both here at home and to the Arab and Muslim world about Americans’ respect for all faiths.

The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine in New York City is among dozens of churches and other houses of worship across the country who will be participating in this project this weekend.  A full list of participating houses of worship can be found at  Below are details on the Cathedral’s event:

            WHAT:            Faith Shared: Uniting in Prayer and Understanding

            WHEN:            3: 45 p.m., Sunday, June 26, 2011

            WHERE:         The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine
            1047 Amsterdam Avenue at 112th Street 

            WHO:              The Reverend Canon Thomas P. Miller, The Cathedral
                                          Church of Saint John the Divine
                                      Mary Burns Hoff, Partnership of Faith in New York City
                                      Muslim and Jewish clergy from NYC

WHY:              To promote mutual understanding and respect among
                                         different faiths

Faith Shared seeks to counter the Anti-Muslim bigotry and negative stereotypes that have erupted throughout the country in the past year and led to misconceptions, distrust and in some cases, violence.  This countrywide, daylong event will engage faith leaders on the national and community levels in a conversation with their houses of worship, highlighting respect among people of different faiths.  This event will help counter the common misperception abroad that most Americans are hostile to Islam.  It will send a message that Americans respect Muslims and Islam, as they respect religious differences and freedom of religion in general.

Faith Shared is designed to reflect the mutual respect shared among so many Muslims, Christians, Jews and other Americans, as they stand together to oppose the negative images that have dominated domestic and international news.

“This has been a year filled with darkness.  Threats to burn the Holy Book of one faith.  Bullying that has caused unbearable pain to many – even death,” said The Very Rev. Dr. James A. Kowalski, Dean of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  “In this City, in this country, in a world where we can build things up rather than tear them down, bring people together rather than divide them, and sow seeds of compassion and mutual respect rather than violence and death-dealing hatreds, we must do whatever we can to renew our capacity to respect the dignity of every human being.  May we – through services such as this one - renew our commitment to be stewards of Creation, a gift entrusted to us across generations and across traditions.”

“The anti-Muslim rhetoric that has pervaded our national conversation recently has shocked and saddened me,” said Interfaith Alliance President Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy.  “Appreciation for pluralism and respect for religious freedom and other human rights are at the core of our democracy.  We believe that demonstrating our commitment to those core American values will help counteract the intensified level of negative stereotypes and anti-Muslim bigotry in our recent public discourse.

“With Faith Shared, congregations will send a clear message to the world that Americans respect religious differences and reject bigotry and the demonization of Islam or any other religion,” said Human Rights First’s Tad Stahnke.  “This message about the fundamental importance of religious freedom around the world is especially timely as President Obama prepares to reaffirm the United States’ support for democracy in the Middle East starting with a speech later this week.”

At its core, this project will bring together Christian, Jewish and Muslim clergy to read from and hear from each other’s sacred texts.  In doing so, they will serve as a model for respect and cooperation and create a concrete opportunity to build and strengthen working ties between and among faith communities moving forward.

Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance has 185,000 members across the country from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition. For more information, visit

Human Rights First is a leading human rights advocacy organization based in New York City and Washington, DC.  Since 1978, we have worked in the U.S. and abroad to create a secure and humane world -advancing justice, human dignity, and respect for the rule of law.  All of our activities are supported by private contributions.  We accept no government funds.  Visit our web site:

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