Wednesday, November 15, 2023
Clergy and individuals of all faiths took to the streets of Alexandria as part of the Nov. 12 Interfaith Walk for Peace.
Representatives of Agudas Achim Congregation, the Episcopal Church of St. Clement, Trinity United Methodist Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church led participants from Trinity UMC to Agudas Achim making stops at each house of worship to offer prayers for peace.
“This is an opportunity for everyone to gather in prayer and in fellowship,” said Christine Hershey, a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church. “We are of different religions and different faiths and are here as a reminder to love and serve God and to come together and pray and be in community together.”
Rev. Robin Razzino of the Episcopal Church of St. Clement read the poem “What They Did Yesterday Afternoon” by Warsan Shire before offering a prayer for peace at one of the stops along the walk route.
Rabbi Steven Rein of Agudas Achim Congregation spoke about the meaning of “shalom” and the emotional toll that the current events are taking on the faith community.
“Many of us are yearning, searching for a sense of wholeness right now,” Rein said. “The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that there is a time for war, a time for peace. But how do we live with war and peace at the same time, with love and hatred at the same time?”
He added that “many of us feel our emotional fuel tank draining. But many of my clergy partners here have shared the most heartwarming notes and messages and that sort of refills that emotional fuel tank when we realize that the challenges we face we do not face them by ourselves but with friends, with family, with community.”
Carol Supplee, owner of Imagine Artwear in Old Town, participated in the walk.
“I’m glad I made the walk this year,” Supplee said. “We have had personal connections with friends in Israel that we visited with and that makes it harder to bear.”
Added Sarah Vasquez, “This is a great reminder to not let the dialog stop. It’s been a couple of weeks but this is going to go on for some time and we need to support and love one another.”