Imam Muhammad William

Imam Muhammad William

A bridge towards peace

The Interfaith Prayer for Peace Feb. 22 at the Vernon library, hosted by Vernon & District Immigrant Services Interfaith Bridging Project

While the prayers will be said in different ways, everyone will be praying for a common wish desire at the Interfaith Prayer for Peace, Sunday at the Vernon library.

“We want to bring as many people as possible together to pray for the same thing. The event will be led by First Nations, then each faith group taking part will make a prayer in their own way. There will be about a dozen local faith groups taking part,” said Imam Muhammad William of the Vernon Mosque.

The event is hosted by the Vernon and District Immigrant Services Interfaith Bridging Project, which has sponsored a number of public interfaith events over the past three years.

The Prayer for Peace will also include music, song, drumming and dancing led by an African-inspired drum group. Those attending will be welcome to dance if they want to. There will be a time for refreshments and fellowship.

“We in the different faith groups have so much more in common than we ever realized until we met and started organizing and attending the public events,” said Margaret Hudson, a member of the Interfaith Bridging Project committee. “Being on the committee has been an amazing experience.

“We can have very different points of view and everyone accepts that. Those on the committee and the faith groups they represent show compassion, service, hope and the desire to leave the world a better place.”

William said the committee reminded him of a writing in the Qur’an: “God created us in different tribes so that we could come to know one another and not to despise each other,” he said. “We all have the same goal, which is peace for everyone and not just our own group. The prayers would also be of interest to people with no specific religious background, to open people’s eyes to a bigger picture. We all live here and we all have families and we need to come together.”

Hudson said that many people appreciated the Interfaith Roundtables where there was a chance to learn about other faiths. The committee is still active and planning projects in the community.

The Interfaith Prayer for Peace is open to everyone at no charge. It takes place Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the meeting room of the Vernon library.