The 15th Annual World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation will be held at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church (HMBC) on Sunday, January 26 from 4 PM to 5:30 PM. This exciting day of sharing, learning and growth was developed in 2000 as a result of wars that were raging around the world – in Serbia, Kosovo, Ireland and the Middle East.
The Rev. Rod Reinhart decided to underscore the message that God was a God of peace and in spite of all the differences and disagreements among religious groups, the central message of all faiths was that we are all called upon to build a world of tolerance and justice. Thus the Rev. Reinhart created and proclaimed the World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation – the interfaith holy day of Peace and Reconciliation among all religions, races, ethnic groups and nations.
“We are delighted to host this unique religious event at Hartford,” said Rev. Dr. Charles G. Adams, Pastor of Hartford Memorial Baptist Church. “Children are an important part of HMBC,” Pastor Adams commented, “The third Sunday of each month is designated Youth Sunday at Hartford; our young people literally run the church service. These are our church leaders of tomorrow. We must keep them actively involved in the church. I am delighted that the focus of World Sabbath is on children of all races.”
The highlight of every World Sabbath is the inclusion of third through seventh graders who decorate white cotton banners with their ideas about World Peace. These banners are stapled to pieces of basswood to make flags that the children proudly display as they march in the processional into the sanctuary. These banners are then sewn into Children of Peace Quilts which are proudly displayed at the World Sabbath services. The Children of Peace, the youth, and the young adults who participate in the Peace Prayers and musical offerings bring their friends and family to the World Sabbath, and this interfaith happening has grown immensely – so big that the sanctuary at Christ Church Cranbrook, where the first ten World Sabbath services were held, is no longer large enough for the event.
The World Sabbath, held on the last Sunday afternoon in January, begins with a Jewish youth blowing the shofar, a Muslim youth chanting the Muslim Call to Prayer, followed by middle school, high school and college youth giving additional prayers for world peace from many other religions; for example; Jain, Buddhist, Baha’i, Zoroastrian, Christian, Hindu, Native American, Sikh, Quaker, and Unitarian faith traditions.
Interfaith service features musical offerings that reflect the individual language, culture and tradition of the many religions that are represented at the World Sabbath; Choirs, Bands, Dance groups, and Chantings. The World Sabbath has been enchanted by Hindu dancers, Yiddish Klezmer music, Jain songs, Sikh Shabads, Christian Dance ensembles, and Arabic elementary school drummers.
Hartford Church under Dr. Adams leadership is known for its commitment to the community. Dr. Adams’ vision is reflected in his commendable efforts to revitalize and bring the communities together. The World Sabbath is open to the public and will be held at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church at 18700 James Couzens Hwy. For more information call Brandee at (313) 861-1285.