Sunday, February 28, 2010
We celebrated Diversity Sunday a few weeks ago. One tradition we have during all of our services is to have a children's circle, where the children come up front and hear a special message for them.
I thought this was a lesson all children should grow up with.
The minister showed everyone her prayer shawl she had been wearing. She asked them to notice all the little children of different colors and shapes embroidered on the shawl and admire how beautiful they were. However, years ago, we decided to become an "Open and Affirming Community", which means that all people are welcome. We have many gay and lesbian couples and welcome people of all nationalities and colors, as well as people from different faith backgrounds.
I also practice Islam, and when I told the pastor that, she thought it was great. She said, after all, there is one God. I have come to believe whether there is one God, or many, it doesn't matter. There is no conflict to me. I see people who worship various gods as people who worship different aspects of God. Whether God is one or many makes no difference to me.
The minister asked all the children to close their eyes and imagine looking at themselves in the mirror. She told them to admire how beautiful and perfect they are.
Then she asked them to all open their eyes and look at the other children, and see how beautiful and perfect they were.
I think the essence of this is respect and love - for ourselves and others. So many of us grow up without either.