Serve, Pray, Heal
Jews, Christians, and Muslims together

Interfaith Service Day
Sunday August 7, 2022
Starting on the New Haven Green 8:30 am to 2:15 pm
Greetings.  I am director of Music at Woodmont United Church of Christ, but I write you today as founder of IWagePeace.Org and organizer of Interfaith Service Day.
With this email, you and your house of worship are invited to attend Interfaith Service Day to be held on Sunday morning, August 7th, from 8:30 am to 2:15 pm starting on the New Haven Green.  There is no financial cost.  Interfaith Service Day 2019 was a wonderful success with over 150 participants and the IWagePeace Walks of prior years’ brought over 400 walkers of all faith traditions and backgrounds.  For Christians attending, this will be their living act of Sunday Worship.
This will be fun, but why is this important?

 Racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, antisemitism, religious extremism, abound and threaten our communities with violence and discord.  I believe it is our responsibility to consciously teach and encourage interfaith activity, dialogue and understanding.  This event not only brings a diversity of people together in fellowship and goodwill, but through the news media we will send to thousands of viewers the message that we are one people, that we have nothing to fear from our differences, and that in fact, our differences make us a strong, vibrant, and dynamic community.  We do not need to agree on all things to work together.  We can disagree on doctrine and theology, while respecting, learning, and enjoying one another.  Interfaith Service Day gives your congregation a voice and opportunity to take a stand, send a message, grow and learn together.  Please join us on interfaith service day, August 7th, 2022.

I have included below a brief description of our day of service. To join us or learn more, please call me at 203-710-5675 or email Bruce@IWagePeace.Org and let me know your interest.  I am easy to reach.

Day of Service Itinerary
8:15 to 8:30    Arrive at the New Haven Green at 8:30 a.m.
                          Temple and Elm (across from the library)
8:30 to 9:00     Divide into interfaith project groups.
9:00                 Board buses, walk, or stay on the green
9:30                 Arrive at your chosen service project
9:30 to12:30    Enjoy fellowship with new faith communities while serving others
12:30               Board Buses back to the green.
12:45 to 3:15   Pizza, Salad, fellowship, interfaith service and ceremonies on the green.
                        with Live Music with the Afro-Semitic Experience*
*Details are subject to change.

Your journey for the day:
On Sunday August 7th, 2022, you and members of local mosques, synagogues, and churches will gather in service to our community with twenty visiting high school teens from Israel: Christians, Jews, and Muslims from the organization Jerusalempeacebuilders. . After gathering on the New Haven Green at 8:30 a.m., we will depart in diverse teams, some walking, others riding buses to one of seven or more service locations throughout the city.  After serving together, we will return for a pizza and salad lunch on the New Haven Green, followed by ceremonies of thanksgiving with an interfaith service led by members of all three Abrahamic faith traditions: Muslim, Christian, and Jewish.  All are welcome, those of faith and those with none.
The Service Projects
(It is yet early, but the following projects seem likely, with more coming.)
  • Beach Cleanup with Save The Sound 
  • Cemetery Restoration with the Hebrew Burial and Free Loan Association
  • Affordable Housing Construction with Habitat For Humanity (early sign ups required)
  • Feeding the Hungry with guidance from Christ Episcopal and Trinity Episcopal Church
  • Neighborhood Cleanup  (in 2019 with Masjid Al Islam, who we hope will return)
  • Giant Mural Painting on the New Haven Green for posting on I-95 by Barrett Outdoor Communications Inc.
  • Christian Community Action is preparing a project.  In 2019 we painted affordable housing units. 
  • Possible Music opportunity: The Flash Mob Singers.
Houses of Worship already committed:
I expect twenty and possibly over thirty houses of worship as full participants.  Full participants grant us permission to list their names on all media and promotional materials.  As of this writing,  Jerusalem Peacebuilders,  St Matthew's Episcopal Church Wilton,  Woodmont UCC Milford,  Congregation Mishkan Israel Hamden,  St. Peter's Episcopal Church Milford, Christ Church New Haven,  Congregation Beth-El Keser Israel New Haven, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church Madison are listing their names on our promotional material, web site, and press releases.  Many others are still obtaining formal permission from their boards and committees before we list their names.  To list your house of worship, simply send an email from the appropriate representative from your house of worship.  (It’s that simple) Let’s get more houses of worship on board.

Theme:  Serve, Pray, Heal.  Each year has a theme and a slogan.  This year’s theme and slogan offers a response to suffering: Serve, Pray, Heal.
Fellowship:  Time to enjoy one another.  “Many hands make light work,” and our program guide includes ice breaker questions making it easier to engage with your new interfaith service friends.  (The work pace allows time for conversation.)

Billboard Mural Painting:  Great for all ages, our hand painted billboard reflects our theme.  Artist Russel Rainbolt is preparing a giant 50-foot canvas and will guide all ages in hand painting our message to over 100,000 viewers per day on I-95. Everyone can join in painting the mural.   Seen below is our 2019 theme “We Are All In This Together” with local and Israeli volunteers.

Fire Engine Pizza will provide pizza and salad for those not fasting during Tisha B’Av.
Interfaith Service:  After Lunch, we will bend the knee of our hearts while raising our spirits in thanksgiving during an interfaith service of gratitude.  An Imam, a Rabbi, and a Minister will share in leading this service: perhaps one will come from your house of worship?
Press: The press will be invited to all events.  A list of participating houses of worship with leadership contacts will be provided in all press kits.  We expect television, radio and print.

Financial Sponsorship:  
This year is funded by a generous grant from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, Barrett Outdoor Communications Inc, and IWagePeace.Org.  After this letter of introduction, I hope you will call me to discuss how your house of worship can get involved.  Your most important task will be promoting the event to your house of worship, recruiting volunteers, and making sure they arrive.  We will provide promotional flyers for printing and regular Q&A meetings on zoom.  For Christians, this means making a Sunday worship day a day of worshipful action.  For others, it is a day of rest now put to good works.  I hope you and your house of worship will join us.
Why again is this important?
 ....because racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, antisemitism, fear of religion and religious extremism do not go away without our loving diligent action.  As citizens of a community as diverse as ours, this is an opportunity to publicly teach and experience interfaith dialogue and understanding.  We do not need to agree on all things to work together.  We can disagree on doctrine, theology, and yet we can respect, learn from, and enjoy one another.  Interfaith Service Day gives your congregation a voice and opportunity to take a stand, send a message and have a nice time.  Please join us on interfaith service day, August 7th, 2022.  It is our calling and our journey together.
Bruce A. Barrett
Founder, www.IWagePeace.Org             
(203) 710-5675 Cell  or email to  Bruce@IWagePeace.Org

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