Interfaith Prayer Service for Racial Justice

Order of Prayer Service [Word document available here]

Thank you to the participating faith leaders
(alphabetical by last name):

Imam Refai Arefin,
Islamic Association of Greater Hartford

Rabbi Marci Bellows and Cantor Belinda Brennan,
faith leaders of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek

Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory Charpentier,
pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westbrook

Rev. Alan Froggatt,
pastor of the United Church of Chester

Rev. Joy Perkett,
pastor of the First Baptist Church in Essex

Revs. Linda Spiers and Benjamin Straley,
priests at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Essex

Imam Salman Tariq and Chaplain Zahir Mannan,
faith leaders at Baitul Aman “House of Peace” Mosque in Meriden

Rev. Rachel Thomas,
Southeast Regional Missionary of the Episcopal Churches in Connecticut

Thank you to those providing technical support:
Mubashar Idrees and Wajid Ahmed

Welcome & Purpose                          Rev. Linda Spiers

A Litany of Lost Lives                       Lead by Rev. Alan Froggatt

Sacred Music “Olam Chesed Yibaneh”
Lyrics and music by Rabbi Menachem Creditor
Sung by Cantor Belinda Brennan

Olam chesed yibaneh….. yai dai dai (x4)

I will build this world from love… yai dai dai
And you must build this world from love… yai dai dai
And if we build this world from love… yai dai dai
Then God will build this world from love… yai dai dai

Sacred Texts

Introductions by Rev. Joy Perkett

Holy Qur’an 49:14 Read by Kusi Ahmed
Reflection by Imam Salman Tariq
یٰۤاَیُّہَا النَّاسُ اِنَّا خَلَقۡنٰکُمۡ مِّنۡ ذَکَرٍ وَّ اُنۡثٰی وَ جَعَلۡنٰکُمۡ شُعُوۡبًا وَّ قَبَآئِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوۡا ؕ اِنَّ اَکۡرَمَکُمۡ عِنۡدَ اللّٰہِ اَتۡقٰکُمۡ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَلِیۡمٌ خَبِیۡرٌ ﴿۱۴﴾

“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female; and We have made you into tribes and sub-tribes that you may recognize one another. Verily, the most honourable among you, in the sight of Allah, is he who is the most righteous among you. Surely, Allah is All-knowing, All-Aware.”

Holy Qur’an 4:136
یٰۤاَیُّہَا الَّذِیۡنَ اٰمَنُوۡا کُوۡنُوۡا قَوّٰمِیۡنَ بِالۡقِسۡطِ شُہَدَآءَ لِلّٰہِ وَ لَوۡ عَلٰۤی اَنۡفُسِکُمۡ اَوِ الۡوَالِدَیۡنِ وَ الۡاَقۡرَبِیۡنَ ۚ اِنۡ یَّکُنۡ غَنِیًّا اَوۡ فَقِیۡرًا فَاللّٰہُ اَوۡلٰی بِہِمَا ۟ فَلَا تَتَّبِعُوا الۡہَوٰۤی اَنۡ تَعۡدِلُوۡا ۚ وَ اِنۡ تَلۡوٗۤا اَوۡ تُعۡرِضُوۡا فَاِنَّ اللّٰہَ کَانَ بِمَا تَعۡمَلُوۡنَ خَبِیۡرًا ﴿۱۳۶﴾
“O ye who believe! be strict in observing justice, and be witnesses for Allah, even though it be against yourselves or against parents and kindred. Whether he be rich or poor, Allah is more regardful of them both than you are. Therefore follow not low desires so that you may be able to act equitably. And if you conceal the truth or evade it, then remember that Allah is well aware of what you do.”

“Your belongings, your honour, and your lives are sanctified and made inviolate like the sanctity of this day, this month and this city. You will soon appear before your Lord and He will call you to account for all your doings. Take heed that you do not go astray, after I am gone, and start slaying one another.

“Allah has made you brethren one to another, so be not divided. An Arab has no preference over a non-Arab, nor a non-Arab over an Arab; nor is a white one to be preferred to a dark one, nor a dark one to a white one, except in righteousness.” Farewell Sermon of Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in 632 AD.

“Divine mercy rescues every believer in Divine Unity, except an arrogant one. Satan also claimed that he believed in the Unity of God, but as he was afflicted with arrogance and looked contemptuously upon Adam, whom God loved, and found fault with him he was ruined and became accursed. Thus the first sin whereby one was ruined for ever was arrogance” – Messiah Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (pbuh) Ayenae Kamalate Islam, p. 598

Numbers 12 Read and reflected on by Rabbi Marci Bellows

Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t the Lord also spoken through us?” And the Lord heard this.
(Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.)

At once the Lord said to Moses, Aaron and Miriam, “Come out to the tent of meeting, all three of you.” So the three of them went out. Then the Lord came down in a pillar of cloud; the Lord stood at the entrance to the tent and summoned Aaron and Miriam. When the two of them stepped forward, the Holy One said, “Listen to my words:
“When there is a prophet among you,
I, the Lord, reveal myself to them in visions,
I speak to them in dreams.
But this is not true of my servant Moses;
he is faithful in all my house. With him I speak face to face,
clearly and not in riddles;
he sees the form of the Lord.
Why then were you not afraid
to speak against my servant Moses?”
The anger of the Lord burned against them, and the Lord left them.
When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous – it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, and he said to Moses, “Please, my lord, I ask you not to hold against us the sin we have so foolishly committed. Do not let her be like a stillborn infant coming from its mother’s womb with its flesh half eaten away.”

So Moses cried out to the Lord, “Please, God, heal her!”

The Lord replied to Moses, “If her father had spit in her face, would she not have been in disgrace for seven days? Confine her outside the camp for seven days; after that she can be brought back.” So Miriam was confined outside the camp for seven days, and the people did not move on till she was brought back. After that, the people left Hazeroth and encamped in the Desert of Paran.

Psalm 131 Read by Rev. Benjamin Straley

O Lord, I am not proud; *
I have no haughty looks.

I do not occupy myself with great matters, *
or with things that are too hard for me.

But I still my soul and make it quiet,
like a child upon its mother’s breast; *
my soul is quieted within me.

O Israel, wait upon the Lord, *
from this time forth for evermore.

1 John, Selected Verses Read by the Rev. Dr. Jan Gregory Charpentier

“This is the message we have heard from Jesus Christ and proclaim to you, that God is light and in God light is never absent. If we say that we are partners with God while we are walking without light, we lie and do not do what is true; but if we walk in the light as God in in the light, we are partners with one another…If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, God who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned we make God a liar and God’s word is not in us…Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you have had from the beginning…Whoever says, ‘I am in the light,’ while hating a brother or sister, is still in the night…For this is the message you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another…Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. And by this we will know that we are from the truth, and reassure our hearts before God…God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God and God abides in them…The commandment we have from God is this: those who love God must love their sisters and brothers also.”

Sacred Music “Oseh Shalom”
Music by Elana Jagoda; text: liturgy
Sung by Cantor Belinda Brennan

O-seh Sha-lom, bim-ro-mav (x2)
Hu ya-a-seh, hu ya-a-seh (x2)
Hu ya-a-seh shalom a-lei-nu.

May the one, may the one who makes peace
bring peace down, bring peace down (x4)

(actual translation of Hebrew is
“May the One who makes peace
in the high heavens make peace for us”)

Community Sharing

Facilitated by Zahir Mannan
Sharing by people: 30 seconds. Keep it dignified. Keep it short.

Closing Prayer (silent)     Imam Salman Tariq

Next Step                             Rev. Joy Perkett
Interfaith Storytelling for Racial Justice, July 29, 7 pm

Read chapter 10, “Plunder for Pianos”, in Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged and Profited from Slavery by Anne Farrow, Joel Lang and Jenifer Frank of the Hartford Courant.

Need financial help obtaining a copy of the book? Contact the Rev. Joy Perkett at

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