We chose three themes to highlight the World Food Day commemoration in Albuquerque on Sunday afternoon, October 16, 2016. We observed the occasion with songs, a shared meal and prayers.
Two faith communities prepared prayers around each of the themes of economic justice (Hindu-Protestant), immigration and refugees (Baha'i-Buddhist), and climate change (Roman Catholic-Muslim). The actual prayers do not necessarily have a direct connection with the theme, which is presented at the beginning of each set of reflections. Here is the immigration/refugees prayer prepared by Joan Brown, OSF, and led by Rev. Sylvia Miller-Mutia, followed by the second of the three reflections.
Reflection and Prayer upon food/hunger and Immigration/refugees
Leader: Our journey through life is long and hard. We cannot make this trip alone; we must walk together on the journey. May we have outstretched arms to welcome those who are refugees and immigrants in our communities and land. May we work to address the deep structural issues of violence, environment, and poverty that cause people to leave their beloved homelands for new and unknown lands where they are strangers.
All : Open our eyes, ears, and hands to act in love and justice as we walk in solidarity with those who are hungry and those who hunger for justice.
|Sohana Akhand, Sally Moore, Kalillany Hall|
(Kailany Hall, Costa Rica, Albuquerque Baha'i Community)
O Thou kind Lord! Thou hast created all humanity from the same stock. Thou hast decreed that all shall belong to the same household. In Thy Holy Presence they are all Thy servants, and all mankind are sheltered beneath Thy Tabernacle; all have gathered together at Thy Table of Bounty; all are illumined through the light of Thy Providence. O God! Thou art kind to all, Thou hast provided for all, dost shelter all, conferrest life upon all. Thou hast endowed each and all with talents and faculties, and all are submerged in the Ocean of Thy Mercy. O Thou kind Lord! Unite all. Let the religions agree and make the nations one, so that they may see each other as one family and the whole earth as one home. May they all live together in perfect harmony. O God! Raise aloft the banner of the oneness of mankind. O God! Establish the Most Great Peace. Cement Thou, O God, the hearts together. O Thou kind Father, God! Gladden our hearts through the fragrance of Thy love. Brighten our eyes through the Light of Thy Guidance. Delight our ears with the melody of Thy Word, and shelter us all in the Stronghold of Thy Providence. Thou art the Mighty and Powerful, Thou art the Forgiving and Thou art the One Who overlooketh the shortcomings of all mankind. -- ‘Abdu’l-Bahá
Tibetan Budhhist Temple, Copper Mountain Institute)
This food is a gift of the whole universe, the earth, the sky, many living beings, and much hard work,. May we eat it in mindfulness and gratitude to worthy to receive it. May we transform our unskillful states of mind, and learn to eat in moderation. May we take only foods that noursih us, and keep our planet healthy. We accept this food to help us realize our path of understanding and love.
Sohana Akhand, Bangladesh, Albuquerque Baha'i Community
The poor in your midst are My trust; guard ye My trust, and be not intent only on your own ease." --Bahá’u’lláh Let all be united in this Divine power of love! Let all strive to grow in the light of the Sun of Truth, and reflecting this luminous love on all men, may their hearts become so united that they may dwell evermore in the radiance of the limitless love…When you love a member of your family or a compatriot, let it be with a ray of the Infinite Love! Let it be in God, and for God! Wherever you find the attributes of God love that person, whether he be of your family or of another. Shed the light of a boundless love on every human being whom you meet, whether of your country, your race, your political party, or of any other nation, color or shade of political opinion. Heaven will support you while you work in this ingathering of the scattered peoples of the world beneath the shadow of the almighty tent of unity. ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks