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Reflection on Chicago Interfaith Leaders Prayer Breakfast

In Better Together, Elmhurst College, Faith, Interfaith on December 5, 2010 at 5:10 pm

Veronica Coriano is a senior at Elmhurst, she is an RA involved with intercultural studies and affairs on campus. She writes here her reflections on the 47th Annual Chicago Leadership Prayer Breakfast attended by a group of eight staff and students went to this event and were able to meet and engage with interfaith leaders of Chicagoland, as well has be present for a fabulous keynote address by Rev. Dr. Welton Gaddy among other presenters.

The interfaith focus of this year’s prayer breakfast was impressive. It is rare that I attend an eventthat not only acknowledges diversity, but embraces it as well.

The keynote address by Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President of the Interfaith Alliance, was both sincere and uplifting. Noting the most recent backlash against Muslim’s in the United States, and comparing it to the resistance against other groups in our past, sheds light on the ways in which we are still struggling to overcome our prejudices. However, the spirit in the room was one of hope, encouragement, and purpose. As Dr. Gaddy stated, “it is not despite our differences, but because of them” that we gather not only to pray, but to fostercooperation, understanding, and appreciation of the beauty and knowledge that comes from difference.

The morning’s prayer breakfast included members of many cultural, religious, spiritual, and ethnic backgrounds which each added their own distinct and unique aspect to the program. From musical selections by Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr. to the closing prayer by Sherif Soydan, Executive Director of the Niagra Foundation, this program brought members of all backgrounds together to eat, pray, and reflecton the richness of diversity and was truly an enjoyable experience.

  1. Wouldn’t it be nice if interfaith prayer breakfasts happened more often? Any interfaith prayer meetings like these are a really great chance to learn and grow.

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