MAJOR JEWISH, CHRISTIAN, & MUSLIM LEADERS
JOIN IN PHILADELPHIA OCTOBER 8
TO ADDRESS GLOBAL CLIMATE CRISIS &
CELEBRATE FESTIVALS TOGETHER
Major leaders of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam will speak together on October 8 in Philadelphia at a joint celebration of the Muslim month of Ramadan and the Jewish festival of Sukkot.
The Rev. Dr. Bob Edgar, general secretary of the National Council of Churches and a former Pennsylvania Congressman; Dr. Sayyid M. Syeed, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America; and Rabbi Sue Levi Elwell, director of the Pennsylvania region of the Union for Reform Judaism, will join the emcee of the gathering, Rabbi Arthur Waskow of The Shalom Center, to address the question:
"What can our religious traditions do to help heal the planet from the climate crisis of global scorching?"
They will speak at the Friends Meeting House at 4th & Arch Streets at 3 p.m. on Sunday October 8.
After the three speakers, Joy Bergey of the Interfaith Climate Change Campaign will lead an interactive process to involve people in working to change American energy policy and behavior, to calm global "scorching," and to move our society in a new direction.
Intertwined with these ways of learning will be prayers and songs of the different religious communities. After sundown, the whole gathering will celebrate Iftar – the break-fast meal each evening during Ramadan when Muslims pause from the fast that begins each dawn.
The gathering will also celebrate Sukkot, the Jewish harvest festival, by building a Sukkah – the leafy, open, vulnerable hut that brings the community into close communion with the earth – and will learn from the teachings of St Francis of Assisi, whose feast day is October 4, and of Mohandas Gandhi, whose birthday is October 2.
This event is one of a number that are happening all around America during the month when the sacred seasons of several religious communities converge. The effort was initiated by "The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, & Sarah," a network of Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
It is co-sponsored nationally by the National Council of Churches, Islamic Society of North America, Pax Christi, Fellowship of Reconciliation, The Shalom Center, ALEPH and its rabbinic affiliate Ohalah.
Locally, The Shalom Center, the Philadelphia Interfaith Walk for Peace and Reconciliation, and the Arch Street Friends Meeting House are initial co-sponsors.
The gathering will also celebrate three new books by participants: Middle Church by Rev. Robert Edgar; The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims, by Sister Joan Chittister, Murshid Saadi Shakur Chisti, and Rabbi Waskow; and The Cave of Reconciliation: An Abrahamic/ Ibrahimic Story, by Pecki Witonsky. .