By Kristen Opalinski
For the first time in decades we are witnessing a confluence of significant religious holy days and cultural traditions during the month of April.
As Christians move through Holy Week, we do so knowing that many of our neighbors of other religions are also journeying through their holy days, including Vaisakhi, Mahavir Jayanti, Passover, Ramadan, and Theravada New Year. For Muslims, Jews, Christians, Baha’is, Sikhs, Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and others, this moment of convergence serves as a reminder of our interconnectedness.
As members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America this is also a time to remember the commitments we have made as a church through “A Declaration of Inter-Religious Commitment: A policy statement of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America/ Declaración de compromiso interreligioso: Una declaración de política de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América” which was adopted at the 2019 ELCA Churchwide Assembly.
We lift up the first of these commitments (p.10) in this moment of holy confluence:
1. The ELCA will pray for the well-being of our wonderfully diverse human family, including our neighbors of other religions and worldviews (ELW, Prayer for the Human Family, p. 79)
Prayer for the Human Family
O God of all, with wonderful diversity of languages and cultures you created all people in your image. Free us from prejudice and fear, that we might see your face in the faces of people around the world; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen.
We invite you to read about the ways our partners and others are reflecting upon this time:
Spring 2022 Messaging Campaign — The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign
This April, Chicago has a rare opportunity for interfaith cooperation – Chicago Sun-Times (suntimes.com)
The Confluence of Holy Seasons: An Opportunity to Grow Together (nationalcouncilofchurches.us)
Home – Religions for Peace (rfp.org)