Sunday, January 13, 2013

Interfaith Experience

by Rose Basada
     Columban Lay Missionary, Britain

I recently attended an Interfaith conference at Mount Zion Church in Birmingham. I met gracious people from different religions and it was an Interfaith encounter which I found truly meaningful.
The author (left) with fellow Columban Lay Missionary Gertrudes Samson
The workshop was interesting and the speakers were all very well prepared and they spoke eloquently with conviction on their topic. The participants were very friendly and it was amazing that a gathering of people with very different beliefs could be so inclusive and stimulating I was happy because it was a chance to share our similarities and differences with an attitude of honesty and respect.

In one of the workshop session I was amazed when the facilitator explained about ‘Understanding our neighbour of another faith’. I found it very valuable as a lay missionary because everyday I am almost always with people of other faiths and cultures. Indeed, good understanding brings good relationships. After the session the challenge was to visit another religion’s place of worship.

I was invited then by a Sikh member to visit their Gurdwara temple at Handsworth. I initially had mixed feelings and was a bit hesitant to go but on the other hand I was also interested and curious about what they do and how they worship. I did go that day to have a look and meet them. My visit was excellent. They were very welcoming and hospitable. It helped me appreciate my brothers and sisters of other faiths and it somehow brought me to a deeper reflection. The most significant part of the tour was eating with them and joining them in prayer - a great experience for me. I felt privileged to have had a chance to explore and appreciate our similarities and differences.

No comments:

Jubgan Residents: One Voice Against Mining

By Michael Javier Columban Lay Missionary in Myanmar   JUBGAN is the name of our small village where I grew up and had my primary education...