Saturday, June 8, 2013

Taize in the Interfaith Peace Chapel

Here's a photo from our Taize service...first Fridays  in our Interfaith Peace Chapel.


We do Taize differently than I've ever seen it elsewhere.  We have about a dozen musicians--flute, guitar, cello, clarinet, plus several singers who form a group we call EvenSong.  Toward the end of the service the musicians play three instrumental pieces during which time folks can get up and move to stations for prayer and anointing with oil.  We end the service by singing four songs straight through, and during this time people move to the kneelers, or they light a candle on one of the side tables, or pray with icons (another side table), or whatever...we have one woman who usually does a prayer-walk holding her Bible up (a little distracting but I guess people are  used to it now).

The Interfaith Peace Chapel was designed by Philip Johnson.  Here's how it's described:

Regardless of what one believes about God, can any of us doubt that the world will be better when religion is a source of peace rather than conflict?
The warping walls of the Interfaith Peace Chapel do what walls are not supposed to do. Without right angles or parallel lines, the space slightly disorients visitors and prepares them for the reorientation of their souls. 
Regardless of faith, our goal is to orient the hearts and minds of people away from conflict and division and toward cooperation and community. People of faith have been a part of many great movements for human progress. Churches, synagogues, temples and mosques have built schools, hospitals and orphanages. They have fed the poor and advocated for those at the margins of society. They led the Civil Rights Movement just a few decades ago and stand ready to lead a new movement toward human peace. 
The tragedy of our age is that religion is the greatest threat to peace and, perhaps, to humankind’s survival. We believe there ought to be a better way. 
The Interfaith Peace Chapel includes over 8,000 square feet, is 46 feet tall at its highest point (the height of a four story building) and measures over 106 feet long. It seats 175 people and is designed for conferences, seminars, small interfaith services, weddings, memorial services and other intimate chapel experiences. 
The Interfaith Peace Chapel provides a sacred place for people of all faiths, and for people who profess no faith, to come together in unity and love. No matter the headlines or conflicts outside, within the walls of the Interfaith Peace Chapel all faiths, nationalities and ethnicities are welcome. The Chapel is an example of inclusive spiritual cooperation for the rest of the world.

1 comment:

Robin said...

This version sounds a lot like what they do at East Liberty Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh. Kept me going the last two years of seminary.