Nevada’s diverse faith leaders pray together for drought affected West USA
Held at Mormon Chapel in Sparks, this Service included religious leaders from Roman Catholic, First Congregational Church of Reno, Northern Nevada Muslim Community, Universal Society of Hinduism, Reno Buddhist Center, North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation & Temple Beth Or, Baha’i community, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), International Community of Christ, Unification Church and Circle’s Edge Center for Spiritual Living; who prayed in their respective traditions seeking God’s blessings for rain and snow to help farmers, ranchers and others. Sparks Mayor Geno R. Martini also participated and delivered his words of support.
Religious statesman Rajan Zed, who coordinated this “Nevada Multi-faith Drought-relief Prayer Service”, in a statement in Reno today, said that Nevada faith leaders were moved by the plight of the residents of Western USA in general and Nevada in particular in view of disastrous drought conditions which persuaded us to invoke God for help and we were confident that it would bring positive results.
It was really disturbing when I learned that many Nevada farmers were considering not irrigating this year, which would reportedly be first time in recorded history, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.
Moreover, when God sees Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i, etc., leaders sitting together in unity and harmony and praying in diverse traditions and seeking common good for the entire community, God will be naturally moved to provide the devotees relief from drought so that it will not affect their quality of life, livelihood and health, Rajan Zed adds.
Joseph E. Johnson, President of Sparks Stake of LDS, who was Co-Coordinator of this Service and hosted it, stressed: Our belief is that prayers are answered and connect us with God. We also need to be responsible stewards of what God has given us.
Organizers; declaring February one as a “day of prayer for rain, moisture and snow”; had also asked all Nevadans belonging to diverse faiths to pray for drought relief and urged Nevada churches and other religious centers to hold prayer-sessions to help people, Zed notes.
As we understand, whenever we petition source of all life, all-powerful, all-knowing and all-loving God from the depths of our hearts and in total trust, individually or in groups, God listens and acts, Rajan Zed adds.
Starting with lamp lighting by Sparks Mayor Geno R. Martini, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, International Community of Christ Bishop Gene Savoy, Jr., Member Quorum of the Seventy of LDS George Marion Keele and North Tahoe Hebrew Congregation & Temple Beth Or Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer; this Service included prayers in Arabic, Hebrew and Sanskrit besides English.
A well-known musician from India, Thakur Chakrapani Singh, offered prayer on Kachhapi Veena through Raga Megh (melody for clouds)—classical Hindustani raga from Vedas. A choir with a specially created number for the Service by Emily E. Hollenbach concluded the Service. Nembutsu Singers delivered a group Buddhist prayer titled “Rain”. Prayer through hand-bells also formed part of the Service.
A common non-denominational prayer was also read on the occasion when clergy and the audience stood-up and repeated after the prayer leader Jon A. Robinson. It said: “Oh God, despite our seriously different traditions, we, the people of faith, are here together in perfect unity and harmony, with unified hearts and with a common resolution to ask you for relief from drought… We trust in you God and you know our needs.”