Families comprised of every creed, color, and culture were invited come together in fellowship and prayer at Cimarron Park for the fifth annual Baha’is Day of Unity on Saturday, Sept. 23. During the interfaith devotional, pastors and representatives of various faiths were invited to say prayers from their own Holy Scriptures.
“We are focusing on community building, so we can come together, get to know each other, learn to trust each other, and build happier and healthier communities,” said Dianna Rohrback, a Baha’is community member. “This is a very powerful program that allows us to become mature people. It also helps us on this walk we are taking on this planet.”
The Baha’is is a monotheistic faith which teaches that all people should be considered one family, and must unite while abandoning thoughts of prejudice regarding race, class, tribe, nation, and religion.
“One of the services we give to our community is bringing everyone together from different religious backgrounds,” said Mahrooz Maddela, public affairs officer. “We can bring officials from the city together to benefit our society and really come together and be unified.
“We’re all children of god. We live in a world that is filled with so much hate, and we want to dedicate this day once a year to have a positive effect and create more positive energy.
“We want to really develop a different state of mind. It’s wonderful speaking about coming together, but we have to get out of our comfort zones. If you center your life around yourself, you’ll find nothing but difficulties, miseries and problems. When you center your life around serving others and creating a positive change, you will forget about your problems and become the happiest person and happiness is contagious,” he said.
“I am seeing the community come together by showing unity and diversity in Irving,” said Dr. Rolando Maddela, Vice Chair of the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of Irving. “This shows we can be united in times of peace. We don’t need to wait for horrible things to happen to take care of each other. I believe that even in times of peace, we can be united.
“Today I heard many suggestions on what we can do in the community. I agreed with the unity program. We can start in small neighborhoods. When neighbors become united, then eventually the community will do the same.
“For Irving, it’s a good start for people to start unity gatherings. Sometime we don’t even know our own neighbors. It’s good to help each other and love each other,” he said.