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 email@example.com or call 01926 838897
The Rugby Interfaith Forump warmly invites you to the ‘Music Unites’ concert which will be held this Saturday, 6th October at 2.00pm for 2.30pm in St Andrew’s Church, Rugby. This free event, which is open to the general public, is the final part of our recent discussions around this theme and is an opportunity for us all to listen, watch and celebrate the music and dance of different faiths united in their love of God.
Please join us and encourage anyone who might be interested to come along. The event is free of charge, refreshments will be served, and there will be a collection in aid of ‘Jessie’s Fund’, a charity which helps children with additional or complex needs or serious illness to communicate by using music.
Please do come on Saturday. It would be good to see you and enjoy this landmark event in your company.
On 9 September the Commission on Religious Education published its final report: ‘Religion and Worldviews: the way forward. A national plan for RE’.
The Religious Education Council for England and Wales launched the Commission in July 2016 as an independent body Chaired by the Very Revd Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster. The fourteen Commissioners included academics, head teachers, teachers, school governors and a broadcaster. The Commission published an interim report in July 2017.
The final report makes 11 recommendations, which include changing the name of the subject RE to ‘Religion and Worldviews’. It sets out a ‘national entitlement’ for RE that would apply to all state funded schools. It calls for a special body to be formed by the Government to write programmes of study for Religion and Worldviews based on the ‘national entitlement’ which would act in a similar way to the National Curriculum for other subjects.
The RIFF Annual Peace Walk takes place this Sunday (23rd Sept 2018). It will start at 2:00pm at the Millenium Peace Tree next to the Percival Guildhouse and Library in the centre of Rugby. Although the weather forecast ahead suggests it might rain the walk will go ahead.
Millenium Tree – Rugby Library/Percival Guildhouse
For unavoidable reasons the date and time for the RIFF public concert ‘Music Unites’ have been changed from Monday 16th July. Provisionally the new date and time are now the Saturday October 6th at 2:30pm.
The last few days have seen a number of disturbing incidents, from hate-filled letters to a number of Muslims headed ‘Punish a Muslim Day’, to a Sikh being asked by a venue in Nottingham to remove his turban or leave, and racist chanting outside a student’s room at Nottingham Trent University. There was also recently a report of a Sikh having their turban dislodged while waiting for a meeting outside Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, apparently by someone who thought the Sikh was Muslim. The level of reported hate incidents, more generally, continues to be high.
These circumstances underline the importance of effective prevention and response, including, very significantly, that of faith and inter faith bodies.
The RIFF 2018 program of discussion events is now available on the RIFF website.
There will be additional events including the Public Lecture and the Peace Walk, details of which will be posted when the date are confirmed.