On Sunday, March 9, the Presidio Chapel was host to the San Francisco Service Unit of the Girl Scouts for an interfaith ceremony honoring those girls who had earned awards in religion. Awards were won by Buddhists, Jews, Presbyterians, and Baptists.
Former ICP Board member Ron Kobata attended, as the girls who won the Buddhist rewards were from the troop that meets at his church. There were about 40 people there, and the organizers thought it went very well. They were most grateful to ICP for welcoming them, and appreciated the chance to hold the ceremony in a place that had been dedicated to respect for different religious traditions from its beginning.
Long-time Board member Don Frew offered a reading on Interfaith relationships, as well as one from his own Wiccan tradition. He used the introduction that San Franciso Interfaith Council gives at the beginning of every meeting:
This is an interfaith community. Whatever our individual belief, it can be freely expressed here with no apologies. If we are invited to offer a prayer in this setting, it should be offered according to the tradition with which we identify. If we are invited to speak on a subject from the perspective of our tradition, we are free to do so without fear of offending those who come from another tradition. We come together as people of faith to learn from each other that we might better understand the multiplicity of faith traditions in our city and in our world.
His second reading came from a Roman Senator in 382 C.E :
The divine Mind has distributed different guardians and different cults to different cities. As souls are separately given to infants as they are born, so to peoples the [guiding spirit] of their destiny. … Everyone has his own customs, his own religious practices … [but] … whatever each of us worships is really to be considered one and the same. We cultivate the same soil, we are one in thought, we behold the same stars, the same heaven and the same world surrounding [us]. What does it matter what practical system we [each] adopt in our search for the truth? Not by one path alone can we approach to so great a Mystery.
The service included readings from various religious traditions, a Dharma Talk/ Sermon/ Homily by Elaine Donlin, and music and poems celebrating peacemaking. A reception followed in the Mural Room at the Chapel.
GIRL SCOUT PROMISE
On my honor, I will try To serve God* and my country,
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.
*When reciting the Girl Scout Promise,
it is okay to replace the word "God" with
whatever word your spiritual beliefs dictate.