In the wake of the Quebec mosque shooting, St. Simon’s in Oakville decided to support Muslims by praying to Allah during its monthly labyrinth walk. The labyrinth walk is normally reserved for trendy events like Gaia inspired eco-worship, so this is a new exploration of the boundaries of voguish virtue-signalling, a further lurch into fatuity.
The sad thing is, I remember the time, a few decades ago, when St. Simon’s was orthodox and evangelical.
When we all heard of a shooting at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec City during evening prayers in late January, faith communities across Canada were shocked. At St. Simon’s Oakville, Rector Darcey Lazerte tried to comfort his parish community with a sermon focusing on understanding and taking action to support the Muslim congregations. It only seemed fit to dedicate our monthly labyrinth walk to peace in support of the Muslim community.
An invitation to Al Falah Islamic Centre was quickly offered, and through Dr. Majid Kazi’s effort, eight members of the mosque joined our walk. Together with five members of the parish, two people from Greening Sacred Spaces Halton and several regular walkers, our February labyrinth walk became a spiritual support group. As part of the meditations, we used a Muslim prayer for peace by Muhammad al-Jazri. It was completed during the siege of Damascus, December 1389. (See sidebar.)The debriefing at the end of the walk was a testament to the strength of the Muslim brothers and sisters in their pursuit of peace and greater understanding of the foundation of their faith.
We are hopeful that this new fellowship will lead to other shared opportunities.
This was the prayer:
O Allah, unite our hearts and set aright our mutual affairs, guide us in the path of peace.
Liberate us from darkness by Your light, save us from enormities whether open or hidden.
Bless us in our ears, eyes, hearts, spouses, and children.
Turn to us; truly you are Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
Make us grateful for Your bounty and full of praise for it, so that we may continue to receive it and complete Your blessings upon us.
I’m not sure what “enormities” the congregation of St. Simon’s need to be liberated from, but perhaps one is the enormous folly of reciting an Islamic prayer in a Christian church.