Celebrating together

posted by Kaihsu Tai on January 20th, 2006

cross and menorah in OxfordMore than 200 people of the three Abrahamic faiths made their way on Thursday evening to the Asian Cultural Centre in Manzil Way, east Oxford, for the celebration of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Eid ul-Adha. There were informative displays on Judaism and Islam; menorah and Christmas tree shared the stage. We heard songs in Hebrew and Arabic flanking Christmas carols. The stories of the festivals were told – the Nativity of Jesus explained with the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ – we also learnt about the route of the Hajj.

Before we went on to share the meal, we prayed together with these well-considered words:

O God, you are the source of life and peace.
Your power changes hearts.
Jews, Muslims, and Christians remember and gladly affirm
that we are followers of the one God,
children of Abraham, brothers and sisters.

It was then announced: This year’s Friendship Walk for people of all faiths will take place on Wednesday 24th May 2006. Starting at 18:30 with prayer outside the Synagogue in Richmond Road, we will walk to the Church of St Mary the Virgin for prayers and refreshments in the garden, then onto the Mosque in Manzil Way for more prayers and refreshments. All welcome.

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  1. On January 20, 2006 at 12:41 Adam (Southern California) said:

    Sounds great. My dad was once in Indonesia on business, and when he attended Mass, he found that in Indonesian, the word for God is Allah. Praise Allah!

  2. On January 20, 2006 at 16:28 David Partridge said:

    As one of the organisers of the Three Faith Celebration, I was anxious about a lot of the logistics. Would we get everyone in to the Asian Cultural Centre? Would there be enough food?

    In the event, there was no need for any anxiety : it just happened. And against a whole backdrop of dug-in traditions. For so many centuries we have stood looking at each other over the fences of history, it is coming as a refreshing surprise to discover that we can work, walk, even worship, together. Where on earth will this newly discovered path take all our faith communities remains to be seen.

  3. On January 22, 2006 at 11:23 Dr Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    This article of mine got hidden at Oxford Indymedia due to a breach of the Indymedia UK Editorial Guidelines: “Hierarchy: The newswire is designed to generate a news resource, not a notice-board for political parties or any other hierarchically structured organizations.”

  4. On January 22, 2006 at 14:25 Mike (Worcester) said:

    I’m sort of dumbfounded that they would hide that. Do you think the problem is with the event notice at the end, or with the fact that the event involves organized churches? If I were an Indymedia lawyer, I’d argue that a coalition of three hierarchical organizations is not itself a hierarchical organization.

  5. On January 25, 2006 at 15:52 Dr Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    I am not too bothered about the article being hidden, but just to clarify: My church certainly does not have a hierarchy, and I doubt Islam and modern Judaism have hierarchies either.

  6. On March 26, 2006 at 17:13 Dr Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    It appears that the date for the Friendship Walk will be changed. Ask around to be sure.

  7. On April 6, 2006 at 08:38 Dr Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    The date has been changed to Thursday 8th June; the plan is otherwise the same.

  8. On June 9, 2006 at 04:50 Dr Kaihsu Tai (Oxford, England) said:

    The 3rd annual Friendship Walk was a successful and touching event. We appeared in page 2 of Friday’s Oxford Mail which reported “[more than] 100 people”; I counted 285. I hope some photographs will eventually get onto Indymedia.