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Sikh News Sikhs celebrates 20 years of associationg with Interfaith Conference

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by Admin Singh, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Admin Singh

    Admin Singh
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    Jun 1, 2004
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    WASHINGTON: Guru Gobind Singh foundation based in Rockville, MD celebrated 20 years of its Inter Faith journey by being involved in the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC).

    Many faith leaders came to share their memories and express their thanks to the Sikh community in this partnership. Funds raised during the 300th anniversary celebrations of Sikh Scriptures last year were given to the Children's National Hospital and IFC.

    Inter-Faith Conference was formed 30 years ago by Christians, Jews and Muslims but now it has taken 11 world religions in its fold. Together they work for a common cause: to serve humanity. The mission of IFC is to work for Social Justice, to promote and nurture Understanding and Build Bridges within faith communities. Sikh became its members 20 years ago and had many milestone events along the way. The Sikh Kirtani jatha at annual Inter Faith Concert is very popular.

    Program opened with a short but beautiful prayer by a Jewish leader Simeon Kriesberg. In very powerful words he prayed, “O God, may we awaken to the beautiful diversity of your creation and may we open our eyes to the commonalities that transcend human boundaries – the hopes and aspirations? This day and every day, O God, may we walk with every good companion of every faith to build together a world in which all your children find joy, fulfillment and peace.”

    Rev. Clark Loberstine, Executive Director of Inter Faith Conference who is solely responsible for widening and strengthening the scope of IFC, spoke highly of achievements and contribution of Sikhs to IFC. He said, “Sikhs have made tremendous contribution to IFC by working closely on its many projects. They have demonstrated their leadership by accepting responsible positions in IFC and furthering its agenda. First time IFC had a Sikh Dr. Rajwant Singh as a non Christian President in 1994-1996 and again a Sikh woman Amrit Kaur has been chosen as our current President for 2008-2010.”

    Rizwan Zaka, a Muslim leader who has roots in India and Pakistan both exclaimed jubilantly,”We must get together as Faith communities and get to know one another thru socials events (Picnics, dinners, and family events) and dialogues. We must bring our families and children together to learn more about one another in respect and faith. We thank Guru Gobind Singh Foundation and Sikh Community for their leadership”
    Sikh Kirtani Jatha who has sung at the Interfaith concerts from last twenty years recited the first shabad they sang - 'Sabko asai teri bhaitha' by Guru Arjan Dev ji on the theme of seeing world as manifestation of God. Ravi Singh, Inderjit Singh,Amrit Pal Kaur, Arvinder Singh, Sarabjit Singh Sidhu, Bhai Gurdarshan Singh, Harleen Kaur, Rajwant Singh, Harminder Singh Jassal, Bhai Labh Singh, and Bhupinder Kaur Saini.

    Tom Wolf , a Quaker who sports Sikh symbol kara regularly and recited many verses by heart from Gurbani also sported a turban that day and declared, “ Guru Gobind Singh was a genius who vested all moral authority into Guru Granth Sahib. Mainly we fight over prophets (Gurus) but he put a stop to this line of succession for ever and declared Guru Granth Sahib as supreme Guru for the Sikhs. “

    A Buddhist leader William Aiken pointed to some commonalities between the two faiths. A Bahai leader Bob McLaughlin was instrumental in engaging Sikh children in the play last year by children’s Theatre Company of New York. He said, “I am so impressed by unity and hospitality that pervades in Gurdwara here that was demonstrated to me while it created its own chapter of CTC. As a Baha’i I applaud this interfaith collaboration, in which Sikh actors have drawn upon their own history and sense of justice to enrich plays that are designed to bring all of our faiths together,”

    GGSF had helped raised funds with GGSF during the 300th anniversary of Guru Granth Sahib last year. A check was given to Children National Hospital of Washington, DC. Danielle Beda from the hospital was there to accept the donation gracefully which was given by Dr. Harminder K. Mangat, Dr. Harminder S. Sethi and Chatter Singh. Another check was presented to Inter Faith Conference by Ravi singh, Sarbjit Singh Sidhu, Chairman of Guru Gobind Singh Foundation, and accepted by Inter Faith members of all communities present there. Tom Wolf, in appreciation, raised a Jaikara, “Bole so nihal”
    Dr. Rajwant Singh, Executive director of GGSF, thanked the guests and audience by saying, “This historic event celebrates this opportunity to work with many faith communities in developing understanding, building bridges and creating an atmosphere of peace and harmony. Twenty years of my own personal involvement in the interfaith movement has strengthened my own faith. I can testify to this fact. Anybody who wants to experience oneness should get involved which is turn makes this world a loving place for future generations.”

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