Temple Judea of Bucks County hosted an interfaith gathering Sunday, Aug. 12, which included both members and clergy from a number of religious institutions in the area.
As part of a continuing effort that evolved from the Temple Judea Social Justice Committee, the luncheon meeting was attended by approximately 90 people.
Previously, in a concerted effort to reach out and learn about religions and create a better understanding of customs and similarities, members of Jewish, Hindu, Muslim and Baptist religious institutions attended each other’s services.
Attendees at this first joint meeting and social gathering were from Bharatiya Temple in Chalfont, Solebury Trinity Episcopal Church, the North Penn Mosque in Lansdale and Temple Judea of Bucks County in Furlong. Members of Second Baptist Church in Fountainville were unable to attend but are part of the group.
A vegetarian luncheon of food representative of each culture was provided by attendees, enabling all to learn a bit about everyone’s traditional foods.
The initial goal of this multi-faith effort is to promote understanding and education. At a time when individuals are becoming increasingly isolated in a world that has become fragmented, learning about each other’s traditions and customs goes a long way in eradicating stereotypes and generalizations. Realizing that many beliefs and teachings are substantially the same, the differences then become less significant.
During the discussion period, participants agreed that the group provides an opportunity to interact and socialize with people they might never get to know. They also agreed that eating and talking together breaks through barriers and helps create better understanding and acceptance.
There were a number of suggestions about how the group can continue this learning process. Representatives from each religious group formed a steering committee to plan the next get-together and activity.
For information, or to become involved, contact Temple Judea Social Justice Committee at email@example.com.