Praying for Our World: Turning 9/11 memories to hope

http://www.readthespirit.com/explore/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/2013/03/wpid-1101_1_Hope_for_a_World_AOK_Detroit_911.jpgHOPE IN ACTION! Top: NASA image of the world. Second: One of many young people who added lines to this prayer on newsprint pads at A-OK. Third: Old friends gathered; new friendships formed. Bottom: The A-OK banner. A-OK photos courtesy of coordiantor Gail Katz.We invited men, women and children to contribute to a prayer that starts with these simple words:
“I hope for a world where …”

You responded with emails, Facebook posts, hand-written letters and, on 9/11, people wrote their lines on pads of paper set up on easels during a huge urban service project. Today, we are sharing three examples of what people have done with this idea. As we explain in the first link, below, you are welcome to add your lines to this ongoing project.
AND, most importantly—you are free to share these prayers far and wide. (Just include a link to the original www.ReadTheSpirit.com version as you share a copy.)

Read the Original Invitation: This story explains the project, which you’re still welcome to try.
Turning 9/11 into a Day of Hope:
Learn how young and old voiced their hopes at AOK Detroit.
A Retirement Community Prays
: This prayer came from the Chelsea Retirement Community.
Women of WISDOM:
The creators of the Friendship and Faith project gathered their prayers, too.

Pray: ‘I Hope
for a World Where …’

WHAT IS A-OK DETROIT? Following an example from Syracuse, New York, Detroit now is in its second year as a national hub for creative, community-wide responses to the 9/11 anniversary. A-OK is a convenient way to remember the focus: Acts-Of-Kindness.
Event coordinator Gail Katz explained it this way:
The aim of A-OK Detroit is to transform 9/11 from a day of mourning into a day of caring and service by bringing together diverse community groups with common missions of unity, peace, and mutual understanding. The A-OK mission is to change 9/11 into a day for people to work side by side to find our commonality as human beings, to reduce myths and stereotypes about the “other” and increase respect and understanding. In Detroit volunteers from a wide range of groups met at one of Detroit’s major centers of community rebirth—the Focus: HOPE campus—to spend a day serving in nutrition, education and community revitalization efforts. (Read more about A-OK Detroit at the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit.)

THE A-OK DETROIT VERSION: TRANSFORMING 9/11

I pray for a world where …
No one is picked on
No one is made fun of
No one is discriminated against
There is no room for poverty or war
No room for racism or phonies
No room for gaps through which we let the vulnerable fall.

I hope for a world where …
We learn
We realize we are made for goodness
We finally see that everyone is brilliant
All children receive a quality education
We can keep learning throughout life
And we can find meaningful jobs to support our families.

I hope for a world where …
Justice is a given everyday—for everyone
Where injustice is never met with apathy
A world where people don’t take things for granted
Where we make an effort because we want to,
not because we are trying to outdo anyone.
A world of teamwork
A world where compassionate service is common enough that
we all may find courage to be who we really are.

I hope for a world where …
We can trust each other
Neighbors care for neighbors near and far
A world where we finally understand each other
Where people are judged by their character.

I hope for a world where …
Peace is such a universal priority
That we all work toward peace.
Peace happens.
Peace is everywhere.
And peace is there for everyone.

Originally published at www.ReadTheSpirit.com, an online journal covering religion and cultural diversity.

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