Interfaith Council to host virtual gathering of lament, comfort and hope
DILLON — The Summit Colorado Interfaith Council is hoping to bring residents of all beliefs together virtually for an evening of guided lament, music and strengthening of the community.
On Thursday night, community members are invited to participate in A Virtual Gathering of Lament, Comfort and Hope, lead by faith leaders from around the county from Muslim, Jewish, Hindu and Christian traditions.
“There’s a lot of suffering and need in the community right now, but there’s also a lot of reaching out and helping that’s going on,” said Pat McShane, president of the Interfaith Council. “People miss their normal religious services. And others not normally inclined to go to religious services might appreciate that (the COVID-19 pandemic) is of great significance in all our lives and want to view it in a new perspective.
“We miss community and being together and meeting new people from different traditions. This is an opportunity to see the faces of other people trying to get the best outcome from this we can.”
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With churches closed due to social distancing restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19, many residents have struggled adapting to a loss of community and the close relationships they’re accustomed to on a weekly basis. But the Interfaith Council is hopeful that bringing everyone together, even on screen, can serve as a healing opportunity for many.
Participants will take part in a guided lament lead by Dawn Koch, a board member of Breckenridge Christian Ministries. There also will be short wisdoms and pieces of scripture passed along from numerous leaders of local faith communities including Lamin Kane and Harouna Kane from the county’s Muslim community, Rabbi Ruth Gelfarb of Synagogue of the Summit, Pastor Carlos Diaz of Bethel Apostolic Church, local Hindu leader and Building Hope board member Ravi Jaishankar and more.
In addition, there will be music from locals Amy Rose and Leon Joseph Littlebird, a welcoming from St. Anthony Summit Medical Center Chaplains Lydia Wittman and Zulema Palomino, and other prayers and blessings.
“This is an opportunity for us to draw on the strength and wisdom of our faith traditions and to draw strength from each other as we get together virtually,” said Frances McWilliams, a member of the Interfaith Council. “We want to tell people it’s OK to grieve the things they’ve lost. … It’s a process that takes time. But if we can help people work through it in a healthy way, we’re all going to be better off.”
Interested individuals can reach out to Pat McShane at firstname.lastname@example.org to get access to the meeting. The event will begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 7.
“We’re trying to promote unity,” McWilliams said. “We certainly hope that it will be a positive, uplifting kind of experience for people. With the music and variety of people, we’re focusing on comfort and hope, so that even though things may not be back to normal, we will have the resiliency to move ahead with life.”
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