Various faiths came together to have a picnic in Nevada’s capital Carson City (USA) on July 31.
Christians (various denominations), Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Baha’is, and others, besides sharing food, music, prayers, a “Peace Cake”, etc., attempted to find similarities between their diverse traditions at second annual “Heal the World Interfaith Picnic of Nevada”. Adina Richman Karst, Coordinator of this Picnic, plans to carry on this tradition in future.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed opened the picnic with Gayatri Mantra, considered the most sacred mantra of Hinduism, and prayers from Rig-Veda, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita; ancient Hindu scriptures.
Participants, who included clergy as well as congregations, helped the less fortunate by donating food items to area food bank Friends in Service Helping. Clergy and spiritual leaders addressed the picnic goers on helping others, “treating others as we want to be treated”, etc. A raffle for gift baskets was held to support charities Carson City Animal Shelter, the Wildland Fuels Reduction Project, and Heifer International. Various area church choirs performed in this Picnic held at Carson City Mills Park.
Participating organizations included First United Methodist Church of Carson City, St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church, Unity of the Sierra, Universal Society of Hinduism, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Temple Bat Yam, Northern Nevada Muslim Community, Reno Buddhist Center, St. Gall Catholic Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Family, Baha’i Faith of Carson City, Center for Spiritual Living in Carson City, Padma Rigdzin Ling Buddhist Center, etc.
Rajan Zed, who is president of Universal Society of Hinduism, points out that religion is powerful and complex and broader and inclusive understanding of religion was needed.