The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, & Sarah
- This is a beautiful vision that you can learn more about here:
Perhaps Vancouver will want to participate also? Love, Alana
The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, & Sarah is a gathering of Jews, Christians,
and Muslims who have been building a 'Tent' of shared spiritual concern
for peace, justice, and healing of the earth. Arising from this effort
has been a call to take part in 'God's October Surprise'. [see below.]
This call has been endorsed by the National Council of Churches; the
Islamic Society of North America; Pax Christi; The Shalom Center; the
Jewish Committee for Isaiah's Vision (see note 3 below); ALEPH:
Alliance for Jewish Renewal and its rabbinic body, Ohalah; the
Disciples Justice Action Network; the Northwest Interfaith Movement
(Philadelphia) and many others.
October Surprise: A Call to Share Sacred Seasons
At just the moment of history when religious conflicts have reemerged
bearing lethal dangers for each other and our planet, God has given our
spiritual and religious traditions a gift of time:
During October 2005, a rare confluence of sacred moments in many
different traditions invites us to eat together, walk together, learn
together, pray alongside each other, listen to each other, and work
together for peace, justice, human rights, and the healing of our
The sacred Muslim lunar month of Ramadan and the sacred Jewish lunar
month of Tishrei (which includes the High Holy Days) both begin October
3-4; October 4 is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi; and October 2 is
World-wide (Protestant/Orthodox) Communion Sunday. (For other sacred
times that appear in October, see note 1 below.) The confluence of
these four sacred seasons will recur in 2006 and 2007.
We could do much during these sacred times to heal our nation and the
world. As one unifying moment of our prayer and effort --
We call on all communities of faith and ethics to observe a Nationwide
Fast for Reflection, Repentance, Reconciliation, and Renewal, from
sunrise to sunset on October 13. That day is for Muslims one of the
fast days of Ramadan, and for Jews is the fast day of Yom Kippur.
Just as Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah welcomed into their tent thirsty
travelers from all four directions, we welcome to this Fast not only
those of the three Abrahamic traditions but all who thirst for a world
made whole. We encourage those who join in this Fast to dedicate their
prayers and their intention to serve the God Who calls us to seek
peace, feed the poor, heal the earth, and then later to take visible
steps in the world to heed God's call.
Besides taking part in the October 13 Nationwide Fast, there are a
number of ways to share these sacred moments. (See note 2 below for
Engaged as we are in war, violence, and repression with strong
religious overtones, we, communities of the faithful, could instead
take some action together during the Ramadan/ Tishrei month to change
public policy in favor of protecting human rights, healing the earth,
and achieving peace in the regions where Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah
We urge those of all our traditions to begin NOW, in our own cities and
neighborhoods as well as nationally and internationally, to plan with
each other how to use God's October Surprise of these sacred dates to
heed the call of the Holy One that we live in peace together.
As we walk our path into this three-year journey of sharing sacred
seasons, let us make the deep connections that will keep us together
long after our sacred calendars dance in other directions.
This Call was initiated by The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, and Sarah. The
Call has been endorsed by the National Council of Churches, the Islamic
Society of North America, Pax Christi, The Shalom Center, the Jewish
Committee for Isaiah's Vision (see note 3 below), ALEPH: Alliance for
Jewish Renewal and its rabbinic body, Ohalah, the Disciples Justice
Action Network. Northwest Interfaith Movement (Philadelphia)
Join God's October Surprise!
1. October 2 is Mahatma Gandhi's birthday. October 4 to 12 are for
Hindus Navarathri (nine nights of spiritual struggle), followed on
October 13 by Vijayadashami, the tenth day of spiritual victory. And
for Buddhists, Vassa (rainy season of spiritual reflection) ends on
October 18 with the full moon day, Pavarana.
2. Some possible actions are listed below. These should be understood
as suggestions; communities and congregations should choose their own
* Clusters of congregations a church, a synagogue, a mosque, a temple
could arrange for each congregation to host one meal for members of the
others, after nightfall on any of the evenings of Ramadan.
* Congregations could arrange public Interfaith Walks for Peace and
Reconciliation that go between church, synagogue, and mosque, pausing
at each for prayer.
* Jews could invite Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, and Hindus into the
Sukkah, a leafy hut that is open to the earth. Traditionally, "sacred
guests" are invited in and the Rabbis taught that during Sukkot,
blessings are invoked upon "the seventy nations" of the world.
Traditional prayers implore God to "spread the sukkah of shalom" over
us. These are perfect rubrics for peacemaking among the children of
humanity and with the earth.
* Muslims could invite other communities to join in celebrating Iftar
(the break-fast) after sunset on a night of Ramadan. For some aspects
of Eid el-Fitr (the feast at the end of Ramadan), Jews and Christians
could (as in Morocco) bring food to the celebration of the end of
* Churches could invite other communities to join in learning about and
celebrating the teachings of Francis of Assisi. He was practically
unique among the Christian leaders of his day in opposing the Crusades,
learning in a serious way from Muslim teachers (even to the extent of
transforming his own prayer practice), and becoming deeply dedicated to
kinship with the earth and all living creatures.
* Synagogues could invite Muslim scholars and spiritual leaders to
teach on Rosh Hashanah when Jews are reading the Torah passages on the
story of Abraham, Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah, and Isaac, how it is that
Muslims understand that story. Then there could be open discussion of
the differences, the similarities, the wisdom held in each of the
versions of the story. Synagogues could set aside a time to read and
discuss the Torah's story of the joining of Isaac and Ishmael to bury
their father Abraham, and then to achieve reconciliation at the Well of
the Living One Who Sees Me.
* Congregations could undertake actions to protect human rights by
making public the plights of those detained without trials, often
without access to counsel or to families, those disappeared, and those
being subjected to torture; could create a series of evenings to look
together at the texts in their traditions that have been misused to
justify violence against other communities, and shape occasions of
repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation; could create seminars and
public actions on the global climate crisis, religious perspectives on
it, and Beyond Oil support for sustainable energy sources; etc.
3. The Jewish Committee for Isaiah's Vision is an ad hoc group of more
than 100 rabbis and other Jewish leaders, echoing Isaiah's call that is
read on Yom Kippur morning. [full list of signers]
The Tent of Abraham, Hagar, & Sarah - 6711 Lincoln Drive |
Philadelphia, PA 19119 | info@...
Gods October Surprise; Reading & Joining the Call to Take Part
Gods October Surprise: Information on the Holy Days and Holy Action
Gods October Surprise: Events and Actions
The Tent of Abraham & How to Pitch Your Own Tent