Good evening friends, families and fellow faith guides.
I have been asked to say a few words on the feedback from the students who completed this course. Initial thoughts were of heartfelt gratitude to our almighty God & Spiritual Divine teachers, for providing this wonderful opportunity, without which none of us would have been able to journey together through this spiritual experience.
We would also like to thank Ruth Tetlow and the Faith Encounter Program, for organising this course which has provided a priceless opportunity for strangers to come together, become friends and share their spiritual heritage.
The course has deeply helped me in nourishing my own faith as I continue to witness the faith of my friends. They are my example to truly live life according to what our God (through our spiritual teachers) has taught us to do. I believe that hope, love and faith bring us all together in peace. Our identity as a multi-faith group on this course is indeed an authentic witness that we can work and pray together- that there is HOPE especially in our world today filled with so much division and gap. I will be forever grateful for the privilege to walk and journey with all of you’
This course has been running for so many years, and all over the city we now have Faith Guides who are not only able to confidently explain their faith to others, but who have also, now become ambassadors of interfaith, promoting harmony, understanding and cooperation between different communities.
This is hugely important in today’s modern times. Birmingham is such a beautifully diverse, multicultural city. We are privileged to coexist amongst so many different faiths, religions and cultures. Building friendships between these communities is what these ambassadors are now doing.
We have all realised that the way to break down barriers is to build personal relationships and to grow in understanding – and the course has not only enabled us to do this with each other, but also gave us the skills to continue doing this when we welcome visitors at our respective places of faith.
But even though understanding about and between people and communities in the UK has increased in recent years, inter religious misunderstanding still exists and can bring discord and conflict.
|Jayjay (2nd from left) with fellow graduates of Faith Guiding Course|
Nelson Mandela was a great believer in breaking down barriers and building friendships – especially in times of discord. He once said: “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Inter religious understanding should never be taken for granted; it has to be taught and worked for in each community and each generation. To this vital work, this interfaith project makes an important contribution.