(From press release) Last year the Celebration of Abraham focused on making space for otherness as a first step in valuing different traditions and recognizing that something unfamiliar doesn't have to bring fear. The theme for this year builds on last year's exploration of diversity by acknowledging that to make community in a world comprising many religious traditions, we must begin to understand ourselves as part of something larger than ourselves – we must move from me to we—the theme for this year's Celebration.
The 16th Annual Celebration of Abraham, "From Me to We", will be held on Sunday January 27th from 3 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall at St. James Catholic Church of Davis (1275 B Street).
"Building strong bonds of community must begin to make room for otherness, but that is only the first step," said Helen Roland, Chair of the Celebration of Abraham and a member of Davis United Methodist Church. "Strong community bonds also require a shared sense of mutual obligation. This year we have seen two dramatic instances of the community coming together as we. After the catastrophic fires this year we saw an out-pouring of support from people of all political and religious backgrounds who came together to help their fellow humans. That movement to unite in a common goal was inspirational." Anne Kjemtrup, a member of the Sacramento Area League of Associated Muslims SALAM Center and an active member of the planning committee, added that "the way the community has come together in response to the tragic death of Officer Natalie Corona not only honored the slain policewoman, it also allows folks to share their grief as a community." Another instance of "we."
As always, to facilitate a truly meaningful experience for the typically175 people who attend this free interfaith event the program again will be very interactive. Sitting at round tables of eight to ten people, those attending will delve into questions designed to help each person gain insight on how groups move from a collection of individuals to a communal we, the basic fabric of community.
As always those gathered again will sing "Children of Abraham" and engage in the traditional washing each other's hands and breaking a loaf of bread to share with those at the table as symbols of respect and connection.
As part of an annual tradition, participants at Celebration of Abraham can donate money that is given to an organization connected to the theme of that year's gathering. This year's social justice offering will be the International Rescue Committee https://www.rescue.org/. (IRC) The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their futures. The IRC is participating in the crisis response in Yemen, as well as the refugee emergencies in the Mediterranean, Venezuela, Bangladesh and elsewhere. Yemen is facing the largest humanitarian crisis of our time: two-thirds of the population is at risk of starvation. The International Rescue Committee provides lifesaving emergency aid, clean water and medical care to millions of people in Yemen. If you will be donating to the IRC at this year's Celebration using a check, please make your checks out to the IRC.
Celebration of Abraham is sponsored by a number of spiritual organizations, including American Muslim Voice, Congregation Bet Haverim/Jewish Fellowship of Davis, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Davis Community Church, Davis Friends (Quaker) Meeting, Davis Islamic Center, Davis Lutheran Church, St. Martin's Episcopal Church of Davis, St. Mary's Orthodox Coptic Church, SALAM Center of Sacramento, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis and the Woodland Mosque.
For more information contact Helen Roland email@example.com