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Shinnyo-en USA temples support events in remembrance of 9/11

“Light the Darkness” Interfaith Lessons from 9/11

Sunday 9/11/2011
7:00 – 8:00 PM
Jessamyn West Park, Yorba Linda (cornor of Palm & YL Blvd.)

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On Sunday evening, September 11, 2011, the Interfaith Council of North Orange County (including a wide spectrum of faiths within the northern region of Orange County, California) held its 10th annual “Light the Darkness” 9/11 commemoration. Held at a local park in Yorba Linda, the community was first beckoned to the event with a beautiful prelude shared by the Yorba Linda Presbyterian Church Bell Choir. The event was then opened at 7:00 pm by a Sikh hymn played and sung by a local Sikh mother and daughter. The highlight of the event was a series of youth from various faiths in the community…Baha’i, Hindu, Islam, Mormon, Shinnyo-en Buddhist, and Sikh… sharing verses and comments associated with their faiths, appropriate for the occasion. This was followed by the keynote talk on the topic “Interfaith Lessons from 9/11” offered by Rabbi Frank Stern of Santa Ana, California. The talk emphasized the uplifting message of the evening that the wealth of faith diversity in our community is not to be feared, but rather embraced as a strength as it has been throughout the history of the United States. The event’s closing inspiration was the reading of a message from Her Holiness Shinso Ito by a local Shinnyo-en priest, followed by our traditional lighting of candles, where the interfaith youth light the candles of attendees in the first row, who turn and light the candles of those in the second row, who light those in the third row, and onward until the park is illuminated with hundreds of candles spreading out to the community.

The local Shinnyo-en temple in Yorba Linda, CA is a welcome and active member of the Interfaith Council. We were especially honored at last year’s 9th annual 9/11 commemoration when the temple’s exceptional Taiko Drummers shared a prelude/beckoning as the public arrived, and then opened the event of a moving and inspiring percussion piece.

Article contributed by Nate Haase, the President of the North Orange County Interfaith Council.