Interfaith for Good: Why Celebrating World Interfaith Harmony Week Should Go Beyond Talk and Into Action
On the last night of the 2018 Parliament of the World’s Religions, the Next Generation Assembly brought together intergenerational changemakers who shared the importance of interfaith harmony, community building, and working toward measurable impact. The closing words delivered by the Next Generation Task Force Chair, Sara Rahim, were a reminder and a challenge: “Let our legacy as the next generation be that we leave behind less talk and more action.”
I worked with Sara for many months in the lead up to the 2018 Parliament and her words were with me as I began to plan the Parliament’s programming for the 2019 UN World Interfaith Harmony Week, along with the guiding principles of the week: Love of the God, Love of the Good, and Love of the Neighbor. Interfaith work and interfaith celebrations often focus on creating dialogue about faith, and the good things that people of faith and conscience can do for neighbors and community. But if I’ve learned anything from my fellow NextGen organizers, it is that interfaith harmony requires interfaith action.
The Parliament of the World’s Religions is a committed partner in the observance and celebration of grassroots interfaith harmony and interfaith understanding. We value the contributions of dialogue and understanding in fostering a more just, peaceful and sustainable world. This World Interfaith Harmony Week, however, I hope you take on the challenge of Next Generation! Engage your community in dialogue and celebration of interfaith harmony, but don’t stop there. Go beyond talking about the good that interfaith can do in the world, and show how interfaith can be a force for good. Let that be the legacy of our work!
At the Parliament, our Staff is committed to a legacy of action. On February 8, 2019 the Parliament will launch the Chicagoland Interfaith for Good Donation Drive during our breakfast celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week.
At the Parliament, we believe that when people of faith and conscience come together for good, their communities are better for it. This World Interfaith Harmony Week we invite you to celebrate by hosting your own Interfaith for Good event, service day, or donation drive. Learn more at parliamentofreligions.org/2019WIHW