We celebrate UN World Interfaith Harmony Week (the first week of February) with annual World Interfaith Harmony Assemblies that showcase the diverse faith communities in the Syracuse area. Organized by WTB and InterFaith Works, they are hosted by a different place of worship each year. By showcasing and celebrating Central New York’s many faith traditions, they help spread a message of harmony and cooperation. Hundreds of people have attended each event, making new friends over refreshments afterwards.
2017: “Love Is the Answer” was the theme of the 2017 Interfaith Harmony Assembly, hosted by University United Methodist Church. The program showcased Syracuse’s increasing diversity, with representatives of the 12 participating faith communities including immigrants from the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Europe, and Africa.
2016: With the theme “Opening Windows of Understanding,” the 2016 Interfaith Harmony Assembly was hosted by the Mosque of Jesus, Son of Mary (Masjit Isa Ibn Maryam), in the former Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church building.
2015: Hosted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral the 2015 Interfaith Harmony Assembly featured unique collaborative presentations by Muslims and Christians, Jews and Muslims, Mormons and Lutherans, and Zen Buddhists with Unity of Syracuse, illustrating the theme “Commonalities in Our Diversity.”
2014: Hosted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Liverpool, the 2014 Interfaith Harmony Assembly featured presentations by twelve groups and readings from various scriptures showing similar expressions of “The Golden Rule.”
2013: Hosted by Holy Trinity/St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic parish on Court Street, Syracuse. Many of the presenters were youth, who demonstrated their commitment to understanding, recognizing, and appreciating persons of all beliefs.
2012: Hosted by Temple Concord on Madison Street, Syracuse, the event had a simple theme: “We can live in harmony.” These were the words of an original song by Joan Hillsman, director of Syracuse’s chapter of the Gospel Music Workshop of America, and they taught the song to the hundreds of people at the gathering.
2011: Hosted by Bethany Baptist Church, the program included presentations by the Islamic Society of Central New York, First Church of Christ Scientist, Holy Trinity/St. John the Baptist Church, Congregation Beth Sholom-Chevras Shas, Bhutanese Dancers, Syracuse Pagan Community, Sikh Foundation of Central New York, Trinity Episcopal Church, Zen Center of Syracuse, and the Baha’i Faith Community.
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