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This morning I joined representatives of many faith traditions for Honolulu’s First Annual Interfaith Harmony Breakfast, part of a worldwide effort for people of different faiths to share ideals and ideas during World Interfaith Harmony Week. Our goal was to reaffirm a call of the United Nations General Assembly for “A Common World” and to use our collective wisdom to promote peace and cooperation between Hawaii’s many faith traditions. I saw many friends who have devoted most of their lives to building community.

interfaithThe formal breakfast began with a riveting opening blessing by two members of the Hawaiian Church of Hawaii Nei whose vision is to strengthen spirituality on the islands through traditional ceremonies and rituals. The blessing made me wish I had grown up in Hawaii!

I’m a Quaker and a member of two Buddhist temples who once lived in a remote Roman Catholic monastery in Austria while I was deciding whether or not I should become a Redemptorist monk! It’s been a journey, fascinating, occasionally mildly frustrating, but always worthwhile.

Yesterday I had a longer wait than expected for a routine appointment. I had forgotten my cell phone and my Bunte, my German People magazine. Then it dawned on me that as a Quaker, I had a perfect opportunity to hold friends in the Light! I did for about 20 minutes. Then I decided to hold the United States in the Light with the pending confirmation of Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education.

Betsy was confirmed today, and while I was disappointed, I wasn’t surprised. I’m no longer in disbelief about much of anything since the national election last November.

What I am hoping is that the collective wisdom, energy, and action of enough people can spark a miracle akin to what has happened in Romania these past few days where growing peaceful demonstrations are advancing democracy. In a time of uncertainty with a sense of urgency, faith is needed for uniting communities and inspiring change.