Apr 05 2015

An Easter/Passover Message from Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian Jr.easter

Easter URI

With URI Global Council Vice-chair Tareq Altamimi and Palestinian CC leaders in Bethlehem

Blessings for these holy days of Pesach/Passover and Holy Week/Easter. I am just back from a remarkable visit with our URI Israeli and Palestinian sisters and brothers, and a journey through the region led by URI Foundation Chair Doug Kahn and sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council of San Francisco. What a blessing for me to be among such remarkable peacemakers as they struggle to bring peace to a deeply divided region. 

Passover and Easter are times of reflection and remembering, of gathering together in fellowship, family and friendship, and of proclaiming in prayer and ritual the power and possibility of hope in the midst of uncertainty and unknowing, suffering and despair.

As Christian and Jewish members of our URI family gather in celebration of these holy days, we join with them as we pray for all the people of the planet that we may live together in peace and in harmony with one another and with the natural world which is our home.

Several years ago during the Easter season, while reflecting on the wholeness of humanity in the context of the sacred, I wrote these words about my own faith and the ways it is enriched by my relationships with others. 

We walk side-by-side, fellow travelers on life's pathways. During these holy days of Easter, I speak of being awakened to the wonder and mystery of the world using words that reflect my window to the energies of life and love, the one whom I call in my prayers, Lord and God, Jesus, the Risen Christ. You too speak of being awakened to the wonder and mystery of the world using words that reflect your window to the energies of life and love, through the teachings of the Buddha, of Baha'u'llah, of Lord Mahavir, of the Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him,) teachings from the Torah, the Guru Granth Sahib, and the Vedas, teachings of tribal elders and wisdom holders, teachings from the natural world expressed in poetry and prose. As I hear you speak your truth and as I look into your eyes, I see a reflection of the Divine, not a partial reflection of my Christian God, but of something more; a reflection of the mystery and magnificence of that which is referred to in so many different ways, by some many different names, by so many different people - a reflection of the wholeness that is at the heart of humanity. 

May these holy days and those of all religions that follow throughout the year awaken in us a sense of that wholeness and a commitment to live into the promise of a healed humanity living in peace.

In peace... Victor 


The Rev. Victor H. Kazanjian Jr.

Executive Director 
United Religions Initiative

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