In a remarkable interfaith gesture, various religions got together in Reno (Nevada, USA) to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year in a unique and divine manner, away from the glitter of the casinos.
Coordinated by religious statesman Rajan Zed, “Multi-faith New Years’ Eve Service” hosted by Reno Buddhist Center included prayers by Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i and Native American clergy.
Religious leaders who prayed included Seventh Day Adventist pastor Omar A. Palmer, Muhammed A. Quddus of Muslim community, Jewish rabbi Elizabeth W. Beyer, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Baha’i teacher Bradley S. Corbin, American Indian spirituality scholar Brian E. Melendez, Buddhist priests Matthew T. Fisher and Shelley L. Fisher, Mormon elder David L. Mathis and June Canak of Unification Church. Jim R. Eaglesmith sang multi-faith musical medley, Spirit Singers headed by Leslie Alice Fudge delivered “Turn, Turn, Turn”, while Laurie Martin lead a team of drummers.
There was no “cover charge” for this Service where all were welcome and which ended at midnight with drum beats and ringing of bells.
Prayers were a more appropriate way to welcome the New Year to our lives than gambling and drinking in the casinos and bars, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out. They intended to make this Service an annual feature, thus bringing diverse religions together to pray for joy and love in the lives of all in the upcoming year, Zed added.