This week begins a two-month count down to what could be an important opportunity in our global world today. That opportunity is known as Awareness Sunday.
On September 11th of this year, it will mark the 10-year anniversary of the infamous and dreadful 9/11 attacks in 2001. A significant date of remembrance for hundreds of millions of people. As so many in the generation before mine remember where they were and what they were doing when John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr. were shot, the same stands true for our world today with regards to 9/11. Such is etched upon the minds and hearts of not just Americans, but our world.
But Awareness Sunday stands as a unique opportunity, a beacon of hope into our 21st century world. This special gathering will be held on Sunday, September 11th, 2011, exactly 10 years following the tragic event of 9/11. On this historic day, Christians around the world will join together for services of remembrance and reconciliation. Those gathering together will be drawn to create a better understanding of faith and culture, and to learn to engage with neighbours and colleagues without compromising our own faith. We are Christians, followers of Christ, no doubt. But we want to consider together the road to awareness and reconciliation.
What do Muslims actually believe?
What do Jews actually believe?
What do Christians actually believe?
Do we understand or misunderstand one another?
Should a particular group be viewed only through the lens of those holding more radical views that have brought violence and fear?
Our global world is no longer simply subdivided by religion and ethnicity. I specifically live in a microcosm of this in the capital of the European Union – Brussels, Belgium. We rub up against Nigerians and Fijians and Bulgarians and Brazilians and Chinese – each and every day. We come in close contact with Muslims and Jews and Buddhists and atheists – each and every day. How do we interact in such a multi-cultural, multi-religious global world? And especially how do the 3 main monotheistic faiths of the world relate as we are now in such close proximity to one another?
Such questions might not have been asked with regularity a few decades ago. But such is pertinent in our world today.
Thus, Awareness Sunday is positioned as an opportunity for considering a path towards peace and reconciliation. Violence in the name of religion must stop, and here we are presented with an occasion to better understand those different from us. Imagine a world where dialogue is the first response, not hate, not violence, not misunderstanding, not fear.
We have come a long way. But we have a long way left to move down this path towards peace and reconciliation.
Knowing some members of the Awareness Foundation team, their deep Christian conviction and their deep desire for building a pathway towards peace and reconciliation, I ask for you to consider how you might be involved in this great occasion known as Awareness Sunday. Visit the website for contact info on how you can help participate in this historic worldwide gathering.
To learn a little more about Awareness Sunday, view the short video below.