Interfaith Story Circle   (Albany, Schenectady, Troy, NY)
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Opening and Closing Prayers

Symbos of many different religions OPENING PRAYERS FOR AN INTERFAITH STORY CIRCLE

I bow to the one who signs the cross.
I bow to the one who sits with the Buddha.
I bow to the one who wails at the wall.

I bow to the OM flowing in the Ganges.
I bow to the one who faces Mecca,
whose forehead touches holy ground.

I bow to dervishes whirling in mystical wind.

I bow to the north,
to the south,
to the east,
to the west.

I bow to the God within each heart.

I bow to epiphany,
to God’s face revealed.

I bow. I bow. I bow.                   – Mary Lou Kownacki, O.S.B. (reprinted with permission from the author)


Lord, help us to still our bodies,
our minds and hearts as well,
so that our stories may wield their power
and take us where they will.                   - Gert Johnson


The following prayer was inspired by Megan McKenna’s chapter on Words in Israel’s tradition in her book “Keepers of the Story” (Orbis Books, 1997). McKenna says according to the Hasidic tradition, God created man and woman because he was lonely and wanted to tell HIS stories to us. Also, that whenever people gather to tell stories, even God comes to listen. God is enchanted by our stories. In fact, the Rabbis tell us that one of the ways that God keeps holy the Sabbath, the day of rest, is by studying the Torah. Then he prays and looks for stories to listen to and eavesdrops on those who tell! (McKenna, p. 80)

Creator spirit, come be present.
Eavesdrop on the tales we tell
Enable us to share their wisdom,
tell them “true”, tell them well.                   - Gert Johnson

 

CLOSING PRAYER FOR INTERFAITH CIRCLE

Lord, we are thankful for the stories..

for those who have told ..
those who listened...
and those who have been prompted to tell in return.

for all those present who have helped us to....

celebrate the richness and diversity of our traditions... discover that which we hold in common...... connect with each other in “mind and heart”.. by sharing our stories.... sharing the “Light”                   - Gert Johnson