In a remarkable interfaith gesture, various religions got together in Reno to celebrate the ringing in of the New Year in a unique and divine manner, away from the glitter of the casinos.
Coordinated by religious statesman Rajan Zed, “Multi-faith New Years’ Eve Service” hosted by Reno Buddhist Center included prayers by Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Jewish, Baha’i and Native American leaders.
Religious leaders who prayed included Seventh Day Adventist pastor Omar A. Palmer, Muhammed A. Quddus of Muslim community, Hindu leader Rajan Zed, Buddhist priests Matthew T. Fisher and Shelley L. Fisher, Jewish rabbi Elizabeth W. Beyer, Baha’i teacher Bradley S. Corbin, American Indian spirituality scholar Brian E. Melendez, Mormon elder David L. Mathis and June Canak of Unification Church. Jim R. Eaglesmith sang multi-faith musical medley, Spirit Singers headed by Leslie Alice Fudge delivered “Turn, Turn, Turn”, while Laurie Martin lead a team of drummers.
There was no “cover charge” for this Service where all were welcome and which ended at midnight with drum beats and ringing of bells.
Prayers were a more appropriate way to welcome the New Year to our lives than gambling and drinking in the casinos and bars, Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out. They intended to make this Service an annual feature, thus bringing diverse religions together to pray for joy and love in the lives of all in the upcoming year, Zed added.
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has congratulated distinguished religious statesman Rajan Zed for four years of continuous publication of weekly interfaith column “Faith Forum” in a Gannett publication.
In a signed Certificate of Recognition presented to Zed, Governor Sandoval wrote: “Congratulations on this memorable milestone!”
“Faith Forum”, a highly popular one-of-a-kind weekly dialogue on religion at a Pulitzer winner Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ) in Nevada, completed four years of publication on February four.
Rajan Zed, who has been bestowed with “World Interfaith Leader Award”, leads a panel of leaders of various religions and denominations to produce this weekly discussion Forum, involving important religious/spiritual issues affecting the area-country-world. Panelists currently include: Rev. Robert W. Chorey (Roman Catholic), Dr. Stephen B. Bond (Christian Church), Dr. Sherif A. Elfass (Muslim), Jikai’ Phil Bryan (Buddhist), Rabbi ElizaBeth W. Beyer (Jewish), Dr. Bradley S. Corbin (Baha’i), Brian E. Melendez (Native American), Dr. Kenneth G. Lucey (religion professor), Fr. Stephen R. Karcher (Greek Orthodox) and Sharla S. Hales (Mormon).
Zed points out: This widely read column is for constructive dialogue and this dialogue effort has brought more mutual understanding and trust and loyalty in the community.
President of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed has read opening prayers in United States Senate and US House of Representatives in Washington DC, various State Senates and State Assemblies/Houses-of-Representatives, various County Commissions and City Councils all over USA. Many cities in USA have named October 25 as “Rajan Zed Day”.
RGJ, whose traces go back to 1870 and which has been recognized for its journalistic excellence, is one of the leading newspapers of Nevada and produces various other print and online publications also. McLean (Virginia) headquartered Gannett is an international media and marketing solutions company headed by Gracia C. Martore.