I am sure that friends of RIFF will be very interested to read and share widely, this profound and deeply significant document that has been released jointly by Pope Francis and The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar in Abu Dhabi, 4 Feb 2019.
It is a document that invites all persons who have faith in God and faith in human fraternity to unite and work together so that it may serve as a guide for future generations to advance a culture of mutual respect in the awareness of the great divine grace that makes all human beings brothers and sisters.
The next RIFF meeting will continue the topic ‘Death and Preparing for Death’. It will take place on Tuesday the 19th February at 7:30 pm at the United Reform Church, 40 Hillmorton Rd, Rugby CV22 5AD.
This discussion is the second in a series of three meetings talking about how different faiths approach Death and the preparation for Death and what follows in the journey hereafter. This meeting will be led by the Sikh and Hindu community and follows on from the first discussion led by the Orthodox community.
Please come and join us for this deeply interesting and challenging topic. We have much to share in this conversation.
Full information about this event is to be found here.
The first RIFF meeting of 2019 is a discussion meeting on the topic ‘Death and Preparing for Death’ part 1 This will take place on 21st January 2019 at 7:30 pm at the United Reform Church,40 Hillmorton Rd, Rugby CV22 5AD.
This discussion is the first in a series of three meetings talking about how different faiths approach Death and the preparation for Death and what follows in the journey hereafter.
Please come and join us for this complex and challenging topic, perhaps by bringing a short passage or teaching from your sacred texts which you have found to be instructive, inspirational, consoling or reassuring. We will learn much from this shared conversation.
Looking forward to seeing you. With best wishes for the New Year Laurie RIFF Secretary
Deyhim Foroughi of the Bahá’ís sends us this Christmas thought
Though Bahais do not celebrate Christmas in the same way as Christians,However Bahais do reflect during these days about the enduring influence of the birth of Christ.
Bahaullah says in one of His writings :”..We testify that when He came into the world, He shed the splendor of His glory upon all created things. Through Him the leper recovered from the leprosy of perversity and ignorance. Through Him the unchaste and wayward were healed. Through His power, born of Almighty God, the eyes of the blind were opened and the soul of the sinner sanctified…. He it is Who purified the world. Blessed is the man who, with a face beaming with light, hath turned towards Him.”
The RIFF meeting in November is formally the AGM. However the main part of the evening will be a discussion about how RIFF could develop it’s activities in 2019 and beyond. Everyone is welcome! Please come join us and help us build our vision for an integrated, mutually supportive community in Rugby.
The role of RIFF is to build interfaith understanding, demonstrate solidarity and confidence in and between the different faiths represented from Rugby. We have sat together and enjoyed together a few functions each year, such as the peace walk, public talks and concerts alongside the regular monthly meetings.
We don’t have to read books or need to understand deep philosophy. We try to build open mindedness and confidence based on our personal understandings of our faith through sharing with other faiths, our insights, interpretations and understandings.
The Rugby Interfaith Forum does not aim to be representative of faiths but is a gathering of people of good will willing to share their understandings of their faith and listen and talk to others, sharing insights and ideas to working together to develop an open, supportive, and friendly community drawn from the many faiths represented in Rugby.
“Our innermost prayer should be that a Hindu should be a better Hindu, a Muslim a better Muslim, a Christian a better Christian. I broaden my Hinduism by loving other religions than my own.”
The Rugby Interfaith Forum ‘Music Unites’ event was a very successful, lively and colourful family occasion for all ages and backgrounds. Many thanks to St Andrew’s and the Rector, Imogen Nay, for hosting us and to all the groups and individuals that gave their time and support to make this afternoon so successful.
‘Music Unites’ was not an act of worship, but a celebration of the wonderful music used in worship in our various traditions – Christian, Hindu Sikh and Baha’i. We were entertained by a wide range of delightful music and dance.
The audience were welcomed in by the St Andrew’s bell ringers. The St Andrew’s handbell group introduced the program with several pieces played on handbells. This was followed by ladies and young people from the Hindu temple who performed a selection of dynamic and colourful pieces of devotional dance and music.
The first was a dance dedicated to Lord Ganesh (Hindus pray to Ganesh before every auspicious occasion since he removes any obstacles that come in the way). There followed a traditional dance which using sticks with the devotees singing and dancing for Lord Krishna to entertain him. To end the children from the Sathya Sai Spiritual and Human Values classes sang some bhajans (or hymns).
Love, peace, righteousness and Truth,
Holy spirit dwelling in our soul,
Father in heaven, give us your Love,
Father in heaven, give us your Peace,
Love in every heart, Peace in every mind
God here and now! Sri Sathya Sai Baba
God here and now! Sweet Jesus Christ our Lord
There are many races in this land,
in different halls we pray,
We call them by different names,
the one who shows the way.
The one who shows the way my Lord,
by what name we pray?
Krishna, Buddha,, Jesus, Allah,
come and show the way
Your children here to pray,
please come and show the way.
There followed Plainsong sung by Brian Davis from the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Plainsong (or plainchant) was used universally in the Catholic Church from the Middle ages till 50 years ago when the Vatican Council introduced local translations. The prayers of the Mass were originally in Latin and when Plainchant was used, it is sung unaccompanied (as this afternoon).
The most widely known Plainsong Mass is known as Missa de Angelis, still sung in some Catholic Churches. Brian sang The Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus Dei: The same words are used in masses by the great composers.
Kyrie Eleison: Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy.
Sanctus: Holy, Holy, Holy; Lord God of hosts…
Agnus Dei: Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
The interval refeshments were provided by the St Andrew’s Community Singers
The Rugby Sikhs introduced Sikh Music followed by singing from the Guru Granth Sahib (The Sikh sacred scriptures) which is central to Sikh worship.
Next we heard Indian classical music played by the singer Ananditha Venkatramanan accompanied by Srividya Venkat on the violin and Thanujan Sivanesan on the mridangam (an ancient Indian percussion instrument). The roots of Indian classical music can be traced to the ancient Vedas and evolved with the Hindu tradition. The tone is an embodiment of the sacred sound “OM” that signifies the ultimate reality – so it sounds perfectly in tune with nature. The art form is devotional – an expression of love and prayer. The song (in Tamil) praises Krishna for his strength, beauty and valour. The composer, Chitravina Ravikiran, connects emotionally with Krishna and wishes his dreams come true with all his blessings.
The Baha’i section of ‘Music Unites’ was given by Julian Hellaby, an international concert pianist whose work for the Royal Schools of Music has taken him to many parts of the world. He is also an experienced lecturer and author of books on piano performance. Julian played several personal compositions and interpretations.
‘Music Unites’ concluded with the St Andrew’s Community Singers with 5 pieces:
1. The first begins with the word Shalom – a Jewish welcome. (cf.Moslem Salaam).
2. A prayer for the Lord to renew the face of the earth – and a thanksgiving to God for His greatness.
3. Part of the Benedicite which asks ALL of Creation to Bless the Lord and Praise Him and Magnify Him for ever
4. A peaceful prayer from Taize (a shared Christian community in France) and a joyful thanksgiving.
5. A prayer asking for God’s Blessing and for His love and peace to surround us.
The event collected £350 for the Jessie’s Fund charity. A big thank you to everyone for your generous donations.
On Monday 12th November Rugby Myton Hospice is hosting an event for faith leaders and health care professionals in Rugby, Coventry and Warwick. It will talk about supporting non-curative conditions in our multi-cultural society and includes a tour of the hospice facilities.
To take part please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01926 838897