2010 Interfaith Convocation Program

This year’s Interfaith Convocation will be held on Sunday morning, April 26, 2015 at Tillman Chapel of the Church Center at the United Nations, 777 First Avenue, in New York City.

2010 Interfaith Convocation Program

Welcome: Mark Johnson, Fellowship of Reconciliation; Allison Pytlak, Religions for Peace

The Call to the Convocation: Rev. Michael Kinnamon, NCCC

Procession: Enter solemnly to drums and chant of Nipponzan Myohoji marchers

  • Repenting for the hubris and the horrors
  • With a symbolic container of security. (Peace Doves)
  • Banners with Earth Image; Disarm Now logo, Peace Doves (Roots and Shoots)
  • International Peace Ribbon segments circle the perimeter of the room.

Litany for Sanity– Stanza One – Read in sequence by Rev. Michael Kinnamon, Rev. T.K. Nakagaki, Rabbi Roger Ross, and Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

May we remember and mourn

Those who died in Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Those who use their gifts to create weapons of mass destruction
Those who have died of cancer and disease from exposure to nuclear tests
Those who today suffer from these diseases and those not yet born who will
Those islands that were destroyed in nuclear weapons tests
Those who would sow fear by threatening to use nuclear weapons
Those who fund new generations of weaponry
Those who profit from the manufacture of nuclear weapons.

Response in Unison by All Present:

WE REMEMBER AND MOURN
WE LIFT UP OUR VOICES IN LAMENTATION
WE CRY OUT FOR FORGIVENESS AND REDEMPTION

Beginning the transition to hope and responsibility

Chants of Seiji Okuda, Shinto peace activist from Japan

To Realize the Pure Land, Chisho Shinma
Superior Buddhist Priest of Nichiren-shu/ Rissho Heiwa no Kai

A lot of people misunderstand Buddhist Teaching as Seeking for an ideal pure land from the real world filled with suffering. But in reality this world is purified in nature. People’s wrong perception gave birth to the impure world, Edo. We are needed to have efforts to realize the Pure Land, not hoping to go to the Pure Land.

Prayer Song of the Cayuga Nation, Alan White

Readings of Sacred texts and Prayers which call for nonviolence:

Psalm 33:17 “The warhorse is a vain hope for victory, and by its great might it cannot save.” Rabbi Ross

Sura 5:32 “On this account WE (God) decreed on the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul except for manslaughter or corruption in the land, it is as though he killed all people, and whoever saves a life is like saving all people.”

John 10:10 “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” Fr. John Dear

Revelations 6:8 “And I looked, and there was a pale green horse! It’s rider’s name was Death.”

From the Hindu Tradition — G.Padmanabhan

Om sarve bhavantu sukhinah, sarve santu nira-maya-ah;

Sarve bhadrani pashyantu, ma-kaschit dukha-bhak bhavet.

Om shantih, shantih, shantih.

Meaning:

Om (God), sarve (all of mankind), bhavantu (may be), sukhinah (happy), santu (may be, become), niramayaah (free from disease), bhadrani (prosperity, auspiciousness), pashyantu (may see, experience, enjoy), ma (not), kaschit (any one), dhuk-bhak (experience of misery), bhavet (may be, become), shantih (peace).

Oh God, Peace, Peace, Peace.

From the Jewish Tradition – Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb and Rabbi Roger Ross

BARUCH ATAH ADONAI ELOHEINU
SHECHEYANU-V’KI MANU-V’HEE GEE YANU
MELECH HA 0 LAM
LAZ-MAHN HAZEH

WE PRAISE YOU, ADONAI OUR GOD,
WHO HAS GIVEN US LIFE, SUSTAINED US,
AND ENABLED US TO REACH THIS MOST IMPORTANT MOMENT
IN OUR LIVES

From the Christian Tradition – Rev. Laurence Yakata Minabe

Father of peace, calm the hearts of those who live with anger; soften the hearts of those who live with hatred; open the eyes of those who cannot see the suffering of others; and open the minds of those who cannot think another’s pain. Bless those who are damaged by war; grant healing to the victims of conflict; lead to safety those whose lives are in danger; bring home all those who have been forced to flee; and fill those who have lost loved ones and friends with comfort.

Litany – Stanza Two – Read in sequence by G. Padmannabhan, Fritz Herrick, Dr. Panna

Shah, Ms. Haruko Yaguchi,

We who are silent in the face of madness

When nuclear weapons are developed and deployed around the world
When monies are allocated to the development of new weapons
When world leaders threaten to use nuclear weapons in war
When our investments, our pension funds, are used to build weapons
When we still our consciences rather than speak out
When we hear hateful speech and do not object
When voices of belligerence escalate and put us all at odds with one another
When our children and grandchildren to the 7th
Of damnation and extinction

Read in Unison by All Present

WE REMEMBER AND MOURN
WE LIFT UP OUR VOICES IN RESISTANCE AND APPEAL
WE SING OUT FOR WISDOM AND DELIVERANCE

Processional Movement Offering — Representatives of the Peace Walks

Readings of Faith Statements of Opposition to Nuclear Weapons

“When you drop bombs on your enemy, you drop those same bombs on yourself, your own country.” Thich Nhat Hanh, read by Masamichi Kamiya

“We reaffirm the finding that nuclear weapons, whether used or threatened, are grossly evil and morally wrong. As an instrument of mass destruction, nuclear weapons slaughter the innocent and ravage the environment. When used as instruments of deterrence, nuclear weapons hold innocent people hostage for political and military purposes.
Therefore, the doctrine of nuclear deterrence is morally corrupt and spiritually bankrupt … we reaffirm the goal of total abolition of all nuclear weapons throughout Earth and space. … Nuclear abolition provides great hope for global peace and prosperity.” United Methodist Council of Bishops, read by Rev. Richard Deats

“Civilization has nothing to do with having electric lights, airplanes, or manufacturing atomic bombs. It has nothing to do with killing human beings, destroying things or waging war. Civilization is to hold one another in mutual affection and respect. ” — Nichidatsu Fujii. Read by members of Nipponzan Myohoji

“We seek to follow Christ in refusal to prepare for war or take life for any reason and do not seek security in weapons. We feel called at this time to a particular witness against nuclear weapons because of the enormous consequences of decisions confronting world leaders regarding the testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons.” — General Assembly of the Mennonite Church, read by Fritz Herrick

“[We also urge] eliminating all nuclear weapons and any nuclear power projects which could contribute to weapons production. Testing of nuclear weapons by both explosion and simulation should be permanently halted worldwide, as should the development and production of fissionable materials.” Friends Committee on National Legislation

“Believing that humankind is free to choose life, we denounce the blasphemy against life which is represented by the development, production, deployment and threatened use of nuclear weapons. Pledging, in our religious principles, to protect the Earth and interdependence of its living system we choose to create hope and the vision of a better world. We fulfill this pledge through our efforts to abolish all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth.” Unitarian Universalist Association General Assembly read by Bruce Knotts

Litany – Stanza Three – Read in sequence by Masamichi Kamiya; H.H. Swami Parameshanandra, Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, Monica Willard

I call to mind that which I cannot bear to imagine life without, lost forever

The sweet fruit and grains of the earth and daily sustenance
The music of children laughing in play
The warm embrace of family and friends
The earth as seen from the moon, green and blue
The world as seen through the eyes of peace without borders
The dew of dawn and the soft breeze of sunset
The sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine
The awe of creation and echoes of the creator spirit

Read in Unison by All Present

WE REMEMBER AND MOURN
WE OPEN OUR IMAGINATIONS AND HEARTS TO MEMORIES YET TO BE MADE
WE CALL OUT FOR LEADERSHIP AND RESOLVE

Hymn – This is My Song, O God of All the Nations*

This is my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
And sunlight beams on clover leaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
This is my song O God of all the nations,
A song of peace for their land and for mine.

Readings of Statements of Responsibility for moving beyond the bomb

“This past century in some ways has been a century of war and bloodshed. It has seen a year-by-year increase in defense spending by most countries in the world. If we are to change this trend we must seriously consider the concept of non-violence, which is a physical expression of compassion. In order to make non-violence a reality we must first work on internal disarmament and then proceed to work on external disarmament. By internal disarmament I mean ridding ourselves of all the negative emotions that result in violence. External disarmament will also have to be done gradually, step by step. We must first work on the total abolishment of nuclear weapons and gradually work up to total demilitarization throughout the world.” — The 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, read by Rev. T.K. Nakagaki

“Nuclear poison turns the water in the well of life into blood and poison for all who drink from that well.” — Rev. Joan Brown Campbell. Read by Elizabeth Begley, Pax Christi International

“We must say to ourselves first and then to the world that we want a total and universal ban on the possession and production of nuclear weapons. All countries, starting with those that have the largest amount of nuclear weapons, should destroy these weapons. There should be a total ban on their production and testing. Nuclear technology should be used only for humanitarian and peaceful purposes.” — Dr. Muzammi H. Siddiqi, past president, The Islamic Society of North America

“In Catholic teaching, the task is not to make the world safer through the threat of nuclear weapons, but rather to make the world safer from nuclear weapons through mutual and verifiable nuclear disarmament. This will require both bilateral and multilateral cooperation…. The moral end is clear: a world free of the threat of nuclear weapons.” — Most Reverend Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, read by Rosemarie Pace, Pax Christi, Metro New York

Commitments to a new beginning: Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
[Writing Wishes onto post-it “leaves” to collect onto banner to carry to the rally]
Offering [A collection to defray the cost of the space used for this convocation.]
Distribution of banners, ribbon sections and posters to carry in the March to the Rally

Music — LET THERE BE PEACE ON EARTH (By Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller) Led by Rev. Deborah Moldow

Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be
With God as our Father
We are family
Let us walk with each other
In perfect harmony

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now
With every step I take
Let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment
And live each moment
In peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth

Litany – Stanza Four read in by Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami with Sr. Filo Hirota, Rev. Deborah Moldow

Hear me as I commit to myself and to you, neighbor, friend, fellow living being

My heart, I will soften and open to my brothers and sisters around the world
My neighbor, I will love as myself.
My nation, I will call to account for bringing peace and justice to the world
My species and all living things, I will cherish, protect and celebrate.

Read in Unison by All Present

WE REMEMBER AND WE MOURN
BUT WE DO NOT DESPAIR
WE DO NOT ACCEPT
WE FEAR NOT
WE LIVE
AND
WE LOVE

A Prayer for Sanity in the Nuclear Age, Preston Davis

Loving Creator –
We mourn and remember.

We remember the tragedy, the loss, and the pain of our actions.
We remember those dark clouds we created that took the breath of life.
You have provided us with abilities to create;
Yet we have used them to undo.
We have fashioned swords of mass destruction and fallen upon them.
We have used our collective abilities for suicide…

Help us not just to remember, but to recognize. To take responsibility.

And let it begin with me
To be responsible for the precious yet delicate gift of life you have given us.
Help us to be responsible with our abilities:
To use them for life and the flourishing of life.
Help us to continue to call out: “We will study war no more.”
And help us to twist the swords of destruction into pruning hooks and plowshares.

Help us that we might turn the tide of loss, tragedy, and pain toward your will for life and love.
In Your many wonderful names.

Benediction – Invitation to Act – Archbishop Joseph Mitsuaki Takami with Sr. Filo Hirota.

We beg your indulgence and understanding that in order to provide an overall order of the convocation in print we may have had to omit the names of some participants who were still making arrangements to join us as we went to press. We are deeply grateful for the support and encouragement of so many in making this moment possible.

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