An annual interfaith iftar dinner, organized by Pacifica Institute, BAYCC and Grace Cathedral in San Francisco to promote interfaith dialogue, was held at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. The event was attended by around 250 people who come from diverse religious traditions.
The event started with the welcoming remarks by Abbott Bailey from The Episcopal Diocese of California and Fatih Ates from Pacifica Institute. Afterwards, The leaders of different faiths prayed together for peace and the victims in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pittsburgh and Poway.
A panel which was moderated by Michael Pappas,Executive Director of San Francisco Interfaith Council, was convened on the subject of “Faith in Action” included Rabbi Beth Singer, Rev Dr. Ellen Clark King and Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin.
“I wish this gathering would be on the front page of the newspapers tomorrow morning. Sadly, it won’t be. It’ll be something terrible and divisive” said Rabbi Beth Singer, Congregation Emanu-El.
“There is no one outside God’s Love. God is love. We are called to be like the God of compassion, justice, and mercy.” said Rev Dr. Ellen Clark King, Grace Cathedral.
“We are enjoined in Islam to work toward a society of justice, where all are treated equitably. Even when treated poorly by someone else, we are not to stray from the path of justice. Because of the world we live in today, we have to be vigilant about taking care of one another.” told Imam Abu Qadir Al-Amin, San Francisco Muslim Community Center.
“It is so beautiful to see all these different communities come together. We don’t see that a lot in the media.”, said a high school student after the panel.
Iftar started with a call to prayer, adhan, marking the moment to break the fast was recited and the quests were invited to enjoy sharing dinner and getting to know each other.
The event, bringing many faiths together at the same table, was a unique experience in which the attendees prayed to keep the world in peace and far from bigotry, hate, and terrorism and to fill hearts with compassion, love, and mercy and give strength to work for justice and reconciliation for all people.