10/20/13: Historic Girl Scouts Interfaith Service held at the Islamic House of Wisdom!

Historic Girl Scouts Interfaith Service held at the Islamic House of Wisdom!

To view photo Highlights of the event: click HERE!

 Last Sunday, Oct 20th was a remarkable day in the history of Interfaith for Girl Scouts in America.

More than 700 girls from diverse faith backgrounds gathered at the Islamic House of Wisdom for their 2013 Girl Scout Interfaith Service.

"Girls of Faith . . . A sister to every other Girl Scout"

Under the organization of Girl Scout leaders that include Suzanne Bante, Amal Mazeh and assistance of Hawra Yassine, Fatima Dahoui, Mary Elias, Dr. Al Tarlo, JoAnn Johnson, Carol McConnell, Fran Clancy, Dr. Faith Strickland, Christal Renaud, Deanna Goralczyk- the program was a great success due to the hard work and organization prior to the event.

The service included:

Flag Ceremony, Girl Scout Promise, Break Every Chain, A Pilgrimage to Hajj, and Living Rosary in honor of the Blessed Mother and Shalom Chaverim!

The Hajj ceremony performed by the Muslim Girl Scouts made a great    impression on the audience demonstrating tawaf, the sacrifice of Abraham and story behind Zamzam which brought tears to many Muslim and Non-Muslim eyes.

Imam Mohammed Ali Elahi was the first religious leader in the ceremony who welcomed the interfaith guests and thanked the Girl Scout leaders and troops for their sense of responsibility and commitment.

Reflecting on the title of gathering "Girls of Faith", Imam Elahi stated that faith is the most needed value in this chaotic and confusing world full of crises and     moral tragedies!  

Imam Elahi answered the question of where is God by saying:

God is very close to us, He is in our conscience, He is everywhere in creation, anywhere there is beauty, wisdom, truth, justice, organization, perfection, grace, guidance, love and compassion.

People from different traditions may call Him with different names!

Yahweh, Jehovah, God, Lord, Father, Maker, Creator and for those who speak Arabic, Allah.

Imam emphasized on the role of faith in 4 areas of human life.

1-Worship and remembrance of God

2-Purification of soul and domination over internal desires

3-Respect, appreciation, honesty, fairness and love for other human beings

4-And finally caring for the nature and protection of the environment

Imam Elahi advised the youth to put faith as the foundation in choosing their friends, so they can trust their love and loyalty even in the most challenging times of life.

Reflecting on the life of Sayedah Zainab, Imam called her the first leader of Girl Scouts in Islam whose patience, determination, and discipline made her a great role model in history of suffering and sacrifice. Imam asked the Girl Scouts to show solidarity for Zainab, who has been a victim of injustice while still hundreds of years after death, her grave is under the daily bombardment by the forces of darkness in Syria.

Fr. Jeffrey Day, Ecumenical/Interfaith Advisor of the Archdiocese of Detroit, and the leader of St. Fabian Catholic Church also addressed the Girl Scouts with his beautiful remarks.     

Fr. Day thanked the Girl Scouts and Imam Elahi for hosting such a great interfaith service.

Fr. Day invited the Scouts to reflect upon the life and example of Mother Theresa of Calcutta.  Even though Mother Teresa died in 1997, her life story is still relevant to girls of today; she strived to a sister to everyone she met.    

The Fr. Spoke about Mother Teresa who founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. Continuing the work of Mother Teresa, they run hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis; soup kitchens; children's and family counseling programs; orphanages; and schools. Members of the order make the three traditional vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, but also a fourth vow, to give "Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor".

Fr. Day concluded with a few inspiring quotes from Blessed Teresa of Calcutta:

"When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed."

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."

"If you can't feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

"Let us always meet each other with a smile, for the smile is the beginning of love."

"If you judge people, you have no time to love them."

Unfortunately at the time of this report we haven't received a copy of the beautiful remarks of the third clergy, Reverend Robyn Moore, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church but will post them as soon as they are received. 

This extraordinary event of Michigan Girl Scouts ended in an atmosphere of love, discipline and cooperation. The girls were invited to the main hall where they received badges for participation and craft projects to complement the event.

Greenland Market generously provided the refreshments that helped provide a good atmosphere of healthy socialization and friendship.