Peace Islands Institute

Jan 21st
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Growing in the spiritual life by turning inward towards prayer and contemplation


The Allwood Community Church hosted the Peace Islands Institute in an Abraham's Table event on October 25th, 2011. The topic discussed was "Growing in the spiritual life by turning inward towards prayer and contemplation". Three speakers shared their own perspectives on the topic. Q&A follwed after each speaker made their presentation.

We thank the volunteers of the Peace Islands Institute for their delicous home cooked meals and a big thanks to Rev. Cari Keith for making this Abraham's Table possible.

Rabbi Randal Mark, Shomrei Torah The Wayne Conservative Congregation
Rev Cari Keith, Allwood Community Church
Mesut Sahin, NJIT

Below is very short summary of the presentations.

Rabbi Randal Mark

Spirituality from a Jewish perspective is done in a communal setting. It’s not so much turning inward but engaging inward that enables one to find God and spiritual meaning. We do it in 3 methods, prayer, study, and doing of mixed vote. Going out into the world and trying to make it a better place, which is the repair of the world. Focusing on the concept of prayer, we do have individual prayer but it almost always is spontaneous prayer, we found examples of that in the bible, like Hannah in prayer for a child or Abraham praying for a wife for Isaac. Jews engage in worship in communal settings. In Judism study and prayer are married to each other, A famous Rabbi in the 20th century said "when I pray, I talk to God and when I study the text of our tradition, God talks to me". Its a dialog, its a dialog that takes place across the centuries.

He also talked about the work he does in his Synagogue and some programs that is held.

Rev Cari Keith

“Since the beginning of time, our scriptures and then our science has pointed out the importance, indeed the necessity of turning inward toward prayer and contemplation in order to grow in our ability to live according to God’s will; to grow in love and understanding of God, of ourselves, and of each other.  Sometimes we take the time to pray hoping that God’s Will will fall into line with our will—which is often a much quicker way of praying! Praying to discern God’s will takes prime time and prime attention!”

“When we refuse to look at what goes on within us; when we do not take the time to recognize our own propensity to do harm—then we go through life believing ourselves to be the lonely and alone victim who must lash out and react in order to protect ourselves because no one else will protect us!”

“Jesus gave us words an example—the next step is ours! Prayer must be experienced in order to affect our lives, our spiritual growing, our well being, and our behavior towards others.”

She also read a couple poems

If you love, You might quiet the whole world for a second if your pray. And if you love, if you really love, our guns will wilt. –St. John of the Cross

“The individual who is not anchored in God can offer no resistance on his own resources to the physical and moral blandishments of the world. For this he needs the inner transcendent experience. –CG Jung

Dr. Mesut Sahin

Dr. Sahin spoke about the power of prayer. A muslim prays five times a day, during the prayer we read dua's that are supposed to be read during the prayer. Our prayer is one of the tasks we have to do for Allah (God). Dua (prayer) is conversation with Allah, our Creater. In every task our first action is dua, also our last. We ask Allah to show us the way to handle every difficulty; we ask His help in following the path He shows to us; we seek His help in making our efforts successful. We should make it a point to make dua for all things big and small. We should make dua at all times, not only during times of distress.

He also shared some stories with us from the past that have lessons for everybody.

Some Pictures from the Event:

Last Updated ( Friday, 18 November 2011 09:11 )  

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