By Laura Fawaz, Contributing Reporter
Littlefield, who has been in the community for over 80 years, wanted to host this interfaith service to bring these faiths, and their traditions together in order to see that â€œwe are more alike than we are different.â€ The sermon by Pastor Fran Hayes of Littlefield Presbyterian Church surrounded the ongoing theme of unity. Respect and unity of any fellow human being, regardless of their faith and / or cultural differences, â€œwe follow Jesus who we know in part, as the man of peace,â€ said Pastor Hayes.
Pastor Hayes continued in her sermon citing nature for examples, speaking on peace and equality being something that should be a household quality, growing up with each generation. Pastor Hayes gave the example of â€œperennials flowers opening in spring â€¦ too humanity rose forth, â€¦ but we are forever drawn to peace, truth, and reconciliation.â€
Following Pastor Hayesâ€™ sermon, the congregation and any participants sang songs from the Christian hymnal books that were about peace and unity. Next Imam Mohammad Mardini of the American Muslim Center in Dearborn recited Qurâ€™an and supplication. Following, Ms. Raman Singh read a meditation from the Sikh scriptures.
As a ritual of any church, Littlefield concluded their session with prayers for the people, which is the time for anyone in the audience to mention someoneâ€™s name that is need for prayer, so that they can be mentioned by name in the congregationâ€™s group prayers offered. But before the prayers for the people were asked, Littlefield did something unique. Pastor Hayes asked the congregation to stand and share what they called, their thanksgivings and intercessions. Here, anyone in the crowd stood and mentioned what they were thankful for, though the majority of those who stood said that they were thankful for todayâ€™s gathering. Most relayed that it is nice to see such a peaceful, interfaith gathering take place, especially in such a diverse city.
â€œIâ€™m thankful that Littlefield has flourished while being in this community. Iâ€™ve watched east Dearborn evolve into the mostly Muslim neighborhood that it is, and itâ€™s good that our friends at Littlefield have been consistently here,â€ said Chuck Alawan, one of the interfaith organizers.