Posted by: smstrouse | September 15, 2011

9/11 Observance: the Difference Between SF & NY: Part 2

What a wonderful day! Who could have imagined that a time to remember the terrible events of 9/11/01 could be a gathering of leaders of many of the world’s religions in the midst of the great San Francisco Opera?!  I left the stage at intermission speechless – after Mozart’s Requiem, interspersed with readings and prayers from eight different faith traditions. I don’t think I have ever been more proud of my adopted city.

Maha ElGenaidi gave an inspired invocation, surrounded by representatives of a variety of traditions, including my own bishop, Mark Holmerud, from the Sierra Pacific Synod, ELCA. You can read Maha’s invocation at ivers-invocation-at-san-francisco-911-commemoration





And then the eight of us took the stage:
Rita Semel, Jewish
Nushin Mavaddat, Baha’i
myself, Christian
Abu Qadir Al-Amin, Muslim
Meji Singh, Sikh
Nina Pine, Native American
Bhikshuni Heng Yin, Buddhist
Sukanya Belsare, Hindu

This remarkable gathering should have gotten press all over the world as a shining example of peacemaking among the world’s religions. I was incredibly privileged to be part of it. I wish that everyone who thinks that people of differing ways of thinking about the Sacred cannot get along with each other could experience a wondrous event such as this. I hope there will be many more.

You can find more pictures of the day, taken by photpgrapher Eric Slomanson  at


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