Interfaith Academy Hosts World Interfaith Harmony Breakfast

Interfaith Academy Hosts World Interfaith Harmony Breakfast

First annual Harmony Breakfast

The International Academy for Interfaith Studies has hosted an Interfaith Harmony Breakfast for three years in San Miguel del Allende, Mexico, and is now going to host the first Interfaith Harmony Breakfast in 2017 in Honolulu, Hawaii. These annual breakfast meeting are to encourage greater harmony among the leaders of religious within a community. For example, most of the San Miguel’s spiritual leaders to attended the celebration of World Interfaith Harmony Week for three years proclaimed by the United Nations’ call for “A Common World”.

ThomasThe Reverend Doctor Thomas Lynch, founder of the Interfaith Academy in San Miguel and Honolulu, founded the events. In Mexico, Irma Rosado represented the Mayor’s office and spoke with pride that San Miguel was the only city in Mexico participating in this important international event. She felt the event was consistent with San Miguel’s unique position as a beacon of international cooperation and fellowship in the world.  Each of the religious leaders contributed to the spirit of interfaith harmony with a few words, prayer or song.


I can give.

I was born to give.

I realize it.

I perceive so much that I forget I have much to give from what is inside of me.

I can give love to my family and to others.

I can give support to my friends.

I can give inspiration to all.

I can give delicacies every day.

I can give the best of my work.

I can give attention to those who will accept it.

I can give consolation to the sad one.

I can give advice to the needy.

I can love in each detail.

I can give happiness.

I can give forgiveness.

I can give service.

I can give compliments.

I can give my life in this way.

I can be a companion on the path to those who I meet and with God.

Unto others I can love and be loved.

King Culp, President of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of San Miguel explained that the UU recognized the inherent worth and dignity of every person He explained his Church’s tradition of lighting “Candles of Joy and Concern”, and asked the group to join with him in lighting a virtual Candle of Joy and Concern for the people of Egypt. He called to mind the words of John Lennon’s song “Imagine”, which concludes,

“You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one”

The Reverend Bill King of Friends of Unity shared, In oneness with God, I completely and totally accept the gift of my being and I live wisely, lovingly, confident, and joyously, Christ in me, the HOPE of glory.

The Reverend Father Michael Long of St. Paul’s Anglican Church offered a quote from the Church of England’s Bishop of London:

“Harmony is a stronger concept than tolerance and opens the door to a symphony in which religions can give of their best to one another and transcend the present situation in which so many people of faith live parallel lives.  It is a situation which can very easily incubate unjust suspicions of the other.”

Dr. Dan Lessner and Carole Stone, Co-Presidents of Shalom SMA represented Judaism and graced the meeting with a traditional Hebrew song of brotherhood.

Hinei ma tov u’ma nayim shevet achim gam yachad


(“Behold how good and how pleasant, that all people sit together like brothers and sisters and break bread together.”)

Many in attendance, including all the young Mormon elders, knew the Hebrew and joined in.

Rick Welland, representing the Baha’i faith, quoted its founder, Bahá’u’lláh,

Be an ornament to the countenance of truth, a crown to the brow of fidelity, a pillar of the temple of righteousness, a breath of life to the body of mankind, an ensign of the hosts of justice, a luminary above the horizon of virtue, a dew to the soil of the human heart, an ark on the ocean of knowledge, a sun in the heaven of bounty, a gem on the diadem of wisdom, a shining light in the firmament of thy generation, a fruit upon the tree of humility.

Camie Sands, President of the Community Church of San Miguel shared the lovely Prayer of St. Francis:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.


O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.


For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life


Marta MacDonald, Facilitator of a Course in Miracles, shared:

As we come together this morning, many faiths, cultures, races and nationalities, let us know that we are all One.  As we embrace acceptance and unity in diversity we can truly make a difference in healing this world of a feeling of separateness and being alone.  Let this living, loving Presence of God in our life bring light, energy and power to us all and know the Oneness that is the Truth.

Frank Simons of the Meditation Center shared a Buddhist prayer:

May we become aware of and let go of all things which stand in the way of peace for us and our communities. May we realize the peace at the core of us all, within ourselves and our congregations. May we realize the peace among our varied traditions.

Norman Popovsky, of the Successful Living Yoga Center, provided a prayer from the Self Realization Fellowship’s founder Paramahansa Yogananda, one of the West’s early proponents of interfaith harmony:

Heavenly Father, Mother, Friend, Beloved God, Blessed Jesus,

Bhagavan Krishna, Great Gurus, Saints and Sages of all Religions,

we humbly bow to you all.

Heavenly Father, Awaken us in our hearts, our minds, and our souls,

to the blessing of Thy Light, Thy Love, and Thy Joy.

And above all, May Thy Love shine forever on the sanctuary of our devotion,

and may we be able to awaken Thy Love in all hearts.

Phil Roger , a Dharma Teacher in the New Kadampa Buddhists tradition offered the Buddhist Prayer of the Four Immeasurables:

” May everyone be happy” ( By finding inner peace)
” May everyone be free from misery” ( By attaining the realizations of their path)
“May no one ever be separated from their happiness” ( May their attainments be firm)
“May everyone have equanimity, free from hatred and attachment” ( May we all have balanced minds and be open to all beings with compassionate hearts)

Rev. Dr. Nancy Anderson of International Centers for Spiritual Living, did not attend but shared a wish for all:

I know that there is One Creative Power, Presence and Substance. It is expressed in and as and through all creation, including me. As part of this Omnipresent Reality and Unity I recognize, respect and love all people of all races, cultures, nationalities, ethic groups and religions. I know that each person has the wisdom to live his or her life at the very highest level of understanding, with great love for all.


As this is happening people discover ways to cooperate together to create prosperous, healthy and fulfilling lives. This Spiritual Mind Treatment acts as a Law of Elimination to all untrue beliefs in separation and their resulting effects. A new consciousness of true unity is awakening in people all over the world. This gathering happening today in San Miguel de Allende is part of the awakening. I am grateful this is so. And so it is!

Elders Backman, Buxton, Garcia and Ruiz represented the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, the Mormon Church.  Elder Buxton joked about the young age of his “elders”, spoke in generous terms about the concept of interfaith harmony.

Pastor Jack Driscoll of Cristo Roca Eterna shared his own pilgrimage from the world of big business to working with the poor and homeless in New York’s Bowery district, and beyond

The Quaker faith, represented by Peggy Purcell of SMA together with her guests John and Janet Thompson, members of London Grove Friends Meeting, Pennsylvania,            holds that there is “that of God in every person.”, therefore all are called to the ministry, and to refrain from being combatants during wartime.  In the Quaker tradition, the Harmony Breakfast ended in a moment of silent worship and reflection.

I very much believe in what the group is about. I have felt for many years that if the people of faith worldwide unite the positive energy would be immeasurable!” said Phil Roger at the closing of the meeting.

“The event, and the sincerity and commitment of the many religious leaders who attended, was very heartening,” said the Reverend Doctor Thomas D. Lynch, founder of the Academy.  “We see this as the beginning of something positive and sustainable for the community.”

His wife, The Reverend Doctor Cynthia Lynch, co-founder of the Academy, was also pleased with the outcome of the breakfast. “We hope that this will become an annual event and will expand to include all in the community, perhaps by common meals in neighborhoods or as a day when households in the community join the celebration by hosting breakfasts in their own homes for people of different faiths and beliefs,” she said.

Firts Harmony Interfaith Breakfast


Rev. Dr. Thomas D. Lynch 225-270-0764 or


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