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A Tri Faith Prayer Retreat

A Time to go deeper into our common roots of faith

Delving more deeply our own spiritual roots while appreciating the beauty in others

Sacred Prism is a project of Roots & Branches: Programs for Spiritual Growth Directed by Father Masud Ibn Syedullah. The Sacred Prism project seeks to build interfaith appreciation and understanding through the experience of prayer, music and scripture.

  • Friday, March 31 7:30 PM – 10 PM at Temple Israel

  • Saturday, April 1 8:30 AM – 11:30 AM at Countryside

  • Saturday, April 1 11:30-12:30 LUNCH at Countryside

  • Saturday April 1 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Countryside

Retreat presenters:

Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat - Founder of Civilizations Exchange & Cooperation Foundation, Imam Arafat works extensively with national and international interfaith organizations that bring people together to create a world in which peace and cooperation is the goal. Through the International Speakers Program of the United States Department of State, he conducts programs on Islam in America in more than 25 countries. He is currently teaching at Notre Dame of Maryland University.

The Rev. Masud Ibn Syedullah, TSSF - An Episcopal priest and Third Order Franciscan, Father Syedullah is the Founder and Director of Roots & Branches: Programs for Spiritual Growth. For more than thirty years he has designed and led conferences, retreats, workshops, and spiritual pilgrimages integrating resources of Christian spirituality, the arts, and liturgical worship that emphasize praise of God, peacemaking, and respect for all God’s creation.

Rabbi Shefa Gold - Director of The Center for Devotional Energy and Ecstatic Practice in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, Rabbi Shefa is a composer of spiritual music and the designer of creative liturgies. Firmly grounded in her Jewish heritage, she incorporates the richness of other spiritual traditions as she offers workshops and retreats on the theory and art of chanting, devotional healing, spiritual community-building, and meditation.

This team has presented a version of "The People of God: A Sacred Prism" in a variety of communities: Damascus, Syria (At the Abu Noor Islamic Center); West Point Military Academy, New York (celebration of the various religious communities represented at the Academy); Santa Barbara, California (Provincial Convocation of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis); Philadelphia (Episcopal Diocesan Interfaith Committee); and Tampa, Florida (Interfaith conference sponsored by The Joint Committee on Franciscan Unity).

The Program

The program is experiential – centering on the reading of sacred texts, music, prayer methods, and storytelling. It is not an academic, lecture format. Participants will be intermixed at tables – experiencing the program together with time for individual and group reflection. It is desired and expected that participants will attend all 3 portions of the programming.

What To Expect from A Sacred Prism:
• The opportunity to recognize the similarity of our core spiritual virtue -- Love/Compassion, towards God and each other -- to love God, and to love neighbor, recognizing that although we are not all "the same," we share the same Light -- the Love/Compassion of the Holy One.
• a first-hand understanding of the spiritual practices and a better understanding of what people of the other traditions are focusing on and experiencing...such as the value of sacred texts, personal prayer, communal prayer, responsibility to the poor and marginalized, love of neighbor.
• Music, chant, singing, walking meditation, silence, movement -- all designed to integrate head and heart, each an expression of our several traditions.
• Growing in spiritual practice in order to understand/discern the will of the Holy One and to be in an active relationship with the Holy One.
• Understanding the connection between personal and communal spiritual practices and how we go forth in the world in the spirit and attitude of that which we receive through engaging our spiritual practices.
• Growth in joy, thanksgiving, gratitude, and humility
• A final commissioning ceremonyof agents of peace, compassion, and reconciliation to the world.

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