EUGENE, Ore. — All different types of religions gathered Wednesday night for an interfaith prayer service. It’s a service that started 12 years ago after the 9/11 attacks.
The First Christian Church holds the service every month on the 11th. Every September 11, the event holds even more meaning.
During the service a man sang John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’. It’s a simple tune that’s moved us for decades.
As dozens filled the pews at the First Christian Church in Eugene, the message of that song also served as a theme on September 11th.
Oneness, something religions from all over the community were seeking by attending the service.
“Sharing together in prayer is just a way of transforming the day and making it about a message of peace and hope,” said First Christian Church Senior Minister Dan Bryant.
Bryant says to his knowledge there isn’t another church in the country that holds an interfaith service every month. With each passing year, the message takes on new meaning for those who attend.
“It’s allowed me to remember it in a whole new image. One of cooperating to try not to ever have that happen again,” added Eugene resident Ron Berry.
“It is nice to have everyone together and share what they believe in. We find they are all really just human beings they have love and understanding,” said Arun Toke who practices Hinduism.
“I think people have prejudices or stereotypes that we can learn about each other that would help us get rid of those,” added Renee Wick who practices Islam.
Those who practice Christianity, Islam, Native American Spirituality, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and many more all preached peace from the pulpit. Still 12 years later, some at the service say we still must do better.
“Especially when things happen in the Middle East and we go into that frenzy so sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of our diversity and our unity,” said Toke.
And while the cranes, a symbol of of peace in some culture, hung above the community made it appear as if that peace is out of reach. Maybe it’s just showing us we can only get there by lifting each other up.
The next interfaith service will be held on the 11th of next month and every month to follow.