The Center for Creative Living is a multi-faith church. Most of our congregation probably doesn’t even know the faith of the person sitting next to them, most of the congregation probably doesn’t even care. Our faith is Love, regardless of how you got it or we’d like you to keep it and give it away. Love is the answer and that is what most faiths teach. Our mission statement: We proclaim and affirm the spiritual nature of all faiths, religions and creeds. Our vision is to co-create spiritual communities of love, trust, integrity, and mutual respect which embrace our diversity, celebrate the oneness of the human spirit, serve the well-being of the human family and honor the sanctity of all creation.
These interfaith prayer flags hang in our sanctuary, here’s a list of what they represent (just in case you don’t recognize some of the symbols).
Top row, left to right
Sikh – The circle of unity contains the double edged sword representing the power of truth, and is surrounded by two curved daggers, representing the act of willingness to defend the faith.
Baha’i – The Baha’i religion is one of the newest of the religions of the prophets, and encourages world peace by teaching tolerance and honoring all paths to God. Their symbol is a nine pointed star.
Zoroastrian – The sacred fire burns on an altar, representing the light which gives all life. Following the prophet Zoroaster, this tradition emphasizes purity and divine light.
Wiccan – Symbolic of life and health in ancient times, the pentacle has been used as a strong protective charm. The five pointed star is used in many traditions, and in Wicca, a shamanic nature, religion from Europe, it shows an image of how energy flows through states of life, corresponding to the five points of the human body.
Shinto – Shinto is an ancient Japanese religion. Shinto has no written scriptures, no body of religious law, and only a very loosely organized priesthood. Ancestors are deeply revered and worshipped. All human life and human nature is sacred. Tradition and the family are very important.
Confucian – The social ethics and moral teachings of Confucius are an ethical system to which rituals at important times during one’s lifetime have been added. His writings deal primarily with individual morality and ethics, and the proper exercise of political power by the rules.
Jain – Jainism contains many elements similar to Hinduism and Buddhism. The world’s approximately 4 million Jains are almost entirely located in India. They practice Ahimsa; non violence. Committing an act of violence against a human, animal, or even vegetable generates negative Karma.
Mayan – The Hunab Ku symbol represents the center of the Galaxy. The complex and highly developed Mayan system of astrology is based on our relationship with this center at our birth. The Mayan tradition is an ancient Native path from Central America.
African – The Akua’ba is a Goddess symbol used for good luck in may parts of Africa, and is especially worn by women and children as a charm to lend protection, fertility and good fortune. It is primarily from the Ashanti tribe in Nigeria.
Bottom row, left to right
Goddess – From the ancient Middle Eastern Tradition, this Goddess image and many like it were the earliest known religious symbols and represent the fertile Mother from which life sprints.
Native American Medicine Wheel – The four directions of east, south, west and north are honored in the wheel of life, hung with sacred eagle feathers. These directions represent the states of energy cycles such as spring, summer, fall, winter and human life as in birth, youth, maturity and old age.
Hindu – The OM is the sound of the universal vibration, the primal source form which all creation manifests. It is the mantra mantrika, or “Mother of all sounds” the first of all creative spells spoken by the goddess, changed to attune oneself to the divine. The original meaning was “womb.”
Taoist – The Ying Yang is the interplay between primal opposites as an eternal dance, such as (light/dark, male/female, life/death) within the heart of the light is a core of dark, and within the core of darkness lies light.
Buddhist – The Buddha taught the eightfold path to enlightenment, represented here by a prayer wheel. The eight paths are right conduct, right contemplation, right effort, right faith, right occupation, right resolve, right self awareness and right speech.
Jewish – The traditional interweaving of the upward pointing and downward pointing triangles, representing the unity of earthly and heavenly energies. It represents the union of God and the Shekina, the male and female energies in harmony
Christian – The traditional cross remains us not only of Jesus the Christ’s death, but of the older origins of this symbol as an intersection of two energy flows, one flowing between earth and heaven, and the other spreading out from side to side, representing the four directions.
Islamic – The calligraphy of the letters of the name of God in Arabic create a beautiful flowing form. Islam is a tradition from the Middle East, emphasizing devotion and community.
Sufi – The awakened heart, which contains the star of perfected light and the receptiveness of the moon, becomes capable of soaring to the heights of Spirit. Sufism is a mystical path related to Islam.
Submitted by Rev. Corky Whitacre