Interfaith Breakfast searches for peace in a troubled world

Imam Talal Eid of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo speaks at memorial for synagogue victims.

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN

BG Independent News

These days it can be hard to find unity – even more difficult to find peace.

And places of worship are no longer safe refuges from the storms that rage.

Earlier this month, 50 people were killed while worshipping in mosques in New Zealand. Last year, 11 were killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The year before, 26 were killed during service at a First Baptist Church in Texas. Two years before that, nine people meeting for a Bible study in a Charleston church were killed.

Recognizing the need for peace and unity, this year’s Interfaith Breakfast will look at “Building Peace When There Is No Peace.”  

The program will feature a video of local people from differing faith streams – progressive and conservative Christianity, Islamic, Jewish, Hinduism, and Buddhism – describing their life experience in Bowling Green, followed by responses from a panel of local religious leaders.

The fifth annual Bowling Green Interfaith Breakfast is a community program of Not In Our Town BG, to be held on April 2 from 7:15 – 9 a.m., in the Junior Fair Building of the Wood County Fairgrounds.  

The public is invited to attend.

“Right now in our country there seems to be this sense that there isn’t a whole lot of peace,” said Rev. Matt Every, of First Christian Church in Bowling Green. Every is one of many people putting together the annual breakfast program.

“We are looking for ways we can find unity among our diversity,” he said. “While we all approach the divine differently, there are things that can unite us.”

The hope is that as people of different faiths gather, they will gain understanding of each other. “We will see each other across the table,” Every said.

The idea for the breakfast theme was born after the shootings at the synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“We hope that people leave this breakfast with two things – a respect for others’ faiths and the experiences people have with those faiths,” Every said. “But also leave people with a sense of community and a hope for something better.”

The organizers are also hopeful the conversations can continue, perhaps with a picnic later this year to give people more of an opportunity to sit across from each other, break bread, and learn about each other, Every said.

“We want to continue the conversation,” he said.

The Interfaith Breakfast will also feature artwork from Bowling Green Middle School students, music from the BG High School Madrigals, and reflections from Mayor Richard Edwards, BGSU President Rodney Rogers, and BG City Schools Superintendent Francis Scruci.  

An international breakfast will be provided, compliments of South Side 6 and Grounds for Thought.  

There is also a free shuttle for BGSU students, which will depart from the Bowen-Thompson Student Union starting at 6:45 a.m. to the Junior Fair Building. The shuttle will run continuously until the breakfast starts at 7:45 a.m. and then take students back to the Student Union after the breakfast until approximately 9:30 a.m.

There is no charge, but reservations are requested at rsvp@bgfcc.org or by calling 419-354-3989.

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