USA: Bridge of Peace Melting Hearts

Bridge of Peace Melting Hearts

AUGUST 31, 2017  

WFWP's Signature Ceremony Bridging Faiths in California

The North American Interfaith Network (NAIN) hosted a conference at the University of California in San Diego on Aug. 6-9, 2017. For this event, NAIN invited WFWP to host a Bridge of Peace ceremony to open the conference.

There were over 20 faiths and 90 different groups represented at the conference. There were many students from the University of Arizona as well as young adults from Mexico. Altogether, there were over 170 people who attended.

Toshiko Modesitt organized the Bridge of Peace with Sheri Rueter. Pastor George Kazokos of the Family Church in Los Angeles brought the bridge from L.A., which was decorated with beautiful flowers arranged by Ms. Modesitt. WFWP members Emma Reed, Caroline Betancourt, Keiko Loew, and Monica Ishioka also joined to assist the ceremony. Sheri's friend, Sharon Ribeiro, even attended from Brazil.

Sheri Rueter, former chairwoman of the Northern California Chapter, who had been instrumental in introducing the Bridge of Peace to numerous organizations in the '90s, emceed the ceremony and created a very dynamic and heartwarming spirit. She opened her speech with giving credit to the Co- Founder of WFWP, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and explained how the Bridge of Peace is used to bring together nations that were once considered enemies. The audience was very moved by the powerful work of the bridge ceremony. Sheri's introduction left a lasting impression. It was the perfect message to open the conference.

People from different faiths, cultural backgrounds, both men and women, young and old, joined the ceremony. Strangers bowed to each other, exchanged pink and white carnations, and embraced one another. After they came down the stairs holding hands, an Interfaith stole was placed on their shoulders. Throughout the event, everyone was moved to tears and welcomed each other in heart as friends. It was a wonderful way to meet and connect with one another to kick-off of the conference.

A board member of the NAIN conference, Sydelle Enyeart, participated in all four days of the conference and shared, 

"Those who were part of the bridge ceremony could not stop smiling for hours. They were so happy to do this event. Even four days later, they talked about the Bridge Ceremony being their highlight."