Planning your own community building events

Guidelines we have come to formulate through experience-

We encourage all sponsors to:

  • Plan site, greeters, environment, and publicity- carried out by different volunteers.
  • Divide up the number of hours of your event by the number of faith groups represented. (ie two hour event shared by 8 faith groups would determine 15 minutes per group.)
  • Have one contact person to communicate and formulate order, based on the needs and schedules of all the representatives of other faith groups.
  • Host to prepare a 1-2 minute introduction/overview of each faith represented, honoring the historical significance, contributions and perspectives that faith brings as the cue/introduction for that faiths representative to come forward and share from their own tradition.
  • Communicate it is up to the individual faith representatives to plan and fill their allotted time segment.
  • Have copies for all participants to read the Decalogue of Assisi for Peace
    (see below – We have made it a tradition for the various representatives to read the Decalogue as the opener.)

We encourage all faith representatives of inter religious gatherings to:

  • Be in their faith. Share from the heart of their own tradition. (Not explain their faith)
  • Share actual readings/chants/prayers/songs. (Not personal testimonials.)
  • Bring in intergenerational representation if possible.
  • Commit and adhere to the time frame given to allow for parity of all represented.
  • Share in the wonder of multiple peoples coming together in the name of peace each honoring their own tradition while simultaneously being one voice on behalf of humanity.

Decalogue of Assisi for Peace

  1. We commit ourselves to proclaiming our firm conviction that violence and  terrorism are incompatible with the authentic spirit of religion, and, as we  condemn every recourse to violence and war in the name of God or of religion, we  commit ourselves to doing everything possible to eliminate the root causes of  terrorism.
  2. We commit ourselves to educating people to mutual respect and esteem, in order to help bring about a peaceful and fraternal coexistence between people of different ethnic groups, cultures and religions.
  3. We commit ourselves to fostering the culture of dialogue, so that there will be an increase of understanding and mutual trust between individuals and among peoples, for these are the premise of authentic peace.
  4.  We commit ourselves to defending the right of everyone to live a decent life in accordance with their own cultural identity, and to form freely a family of his own.
  5. We commit ourselves to frank and patient dialogue, refusing to consider our differences as an insurmountable barrier, but recognizing instead that to encounter the diversity of others can become an opportunity for greater reciprocal understanding. We commit ourselves to forgiving one another for past and present errors and prejudices, and to supporting one another in a common effort both to overcome selfishness and arrogance, hatred and violence, and to learn from the past that peace without justice is no true peace.
  6. We commit ourselves to taking the side of the poor and the helpless, to speaking out for those who have no voice and to working effectively to change these situations, out of the conviction that no one can be happy alone.
  7. We commit ourselves to taking up the cry of those who refuse to be resigned to violence and evil, and we are desire to make every effort possible to offer the men and women of our time real hope for justice and peace.
  8. We commit ourselves to encouraging all efforts to promote friendship between peoples, for we are convinced that, in the absence of solidarity and understanding between peoples, technological progress exposes the world to a growing risk of destruction and death.
  9. We commit ourselves to urging leaders of nations to make every effort to create and consolidate, on the national and international levels, a world of solidarity and peace based on justice.