UK: Family Blessing at Scottish Interfaith Week
By Robert Török, FFWPU Scotland
Families Connecting Generations” on Sunday 18 November, 2018, the Glasgow Peace Federation (GPF) and The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU) presented an Interfaith Service with Family Blessing at the Wallneuk North Church in Paisley, Glasgow on Sunday 18th November 2018 in conjunction with Scottish Interfaith Week.
This impressive building which serves the local community just celebrated its centenary and was the focal point for our gathering of faiths and an opportunity to meet and engage.
The Interfaith Service was conducted by the Reverend Peter Gill and was a mixture of traditional songs and readings – one from the Bible, one from the Koran – and two sermons. A 10-year-old piper, led the Reverend and the guest of honour into the church to begin the service; and at the end led them out to the tune of Scotland the Brave.
Rev. Gill delivered the sermon based on the story of the blind men and an elephant; each blind man described his perception of the elephant based on his own limited experience, quickly concluding that the others were mistaken; similarly, believers from diverse faiths hold fast to their own view of the creator God, easily dismissing others. Rev. Gil encouraged people to come together, respect each other and see the big picture.
The next speaker was the special guest, Dr. David Hanna, a representative of FFWPU who travelled from London. Dr. Hanna emphasized the importance of marriage and family to people of all faiths, presenting several slides showing marriage ceremonies in the different traditions, with the common goal of finding and keeping peace throughout their lives. Dr Hanna then introduced the Family Peace Blessing, explaining how it began and expanded.
All the participants invited to take part in the Peace Blessing ceremony by drinking the holy juice to show the commitment of couples to be true and faithful to each other.
After the Service, participants had time to get to know each other over a cup of tea at the back hall of the church as well as taking group pictures.
Around 2 pm, a buffet lunch was offered together with live music and lively singing at an Indian restaurant just near by the church.
The event was well received, and everyone was appreciative of the Wallneuk Church for hosting this important week in the interfaith calendar.