WIFA has always had what was then known as a House Group, as members from different faiths used to meet in each other’s homes several times a year to discuss a topic of interest. Later, WIFA held their group discussions at the Watford Fire Station community room and during the Covid-19 pandemic the discussion went online. The regular prayer/discussion meetings explored various religious traditions and presented the faith perspectives on topics such as euthanasia, environment, prayer, pornography and more. Over the years WIFA has also held the Sacred Space at the annual Watford Celebration, inviting representatives of many faiths to discuss a chosen topic. Since 2009, WIFA introduced the annual Memorial Harold Meyer Lectures inviting eminent speakers to address our multi faith community.
Our monthly Prayer/Discussion meetings discovering different faith perspectives on various topics, will be held on the 4th Tuesday of each month at 8.00pm on Zoom.
‘Does Prayer make a difference? If so, how do we know?
Prayer/discussion meeting on 30/01/2024.
Our interfaith prayer/discussion meeting on Tuesday 30th January was on ‘Does Prayer make a difference? If so, how do we know?
The meeting began with the reading of a beautiful Bahai prayer and each shared how they prayed. Some prayed regularly through the day, some began their day with prayer. Interestingly, there were many different ways of praying apart from simple requests for divine help.
There was the prayer of gratitude, of praise, enabling the recognition of divine bounty; of acknowledgment and trust in God’s lovingkindness and mercy; also affirming God’s presence even when He seemed to be a long way away, and striving to fill thought with His divine character until a sense of peace was gained. In fact, patience was seen to be an essential part of prayer, listening and being prepared to wait.
It was acknowledged too, that we need to be willing to accept that OUR idea of the answer or help we need often falls short of the wonderful answer we are actually given!
We were all agreed that prayer does work, and each face shone when speaking of personal experience not only of its general benefit, but of how it enables the giving of help and inspiration to others. We shared personal accounts of answered prayer, including receiving conviction of God’s existence resulting in deep peace, physical healing, and resolving difficult events.
Many thanks to all who participated. We had a very uplifting and interesting discussion listening to each other perspectives and experiences about prayer.
The Developing Role of Women in Society.
Prayer/Discussion Meetings on Tuesday 25/07/23
On July 25, our monthly prayer/discussion chosen topic was ‘The developing role of Women in Society’. Throughout human history women have mostly been in the shadow of a male dominated world. Françoise M. gave a PPP describing the slow progress of women in been recognised for their unique value and equal rights to men. She concentrated on the Judeo-Christian view and emphasized on the important contribution of Jesus in bringing a change in the way women were seen in society. She then mentioned how women were considered in the early Christian churches and later in the established churches. She explained how the movement for women’s rights developed first in the US in 1848 and then in the UK with the suffragettes. Since then, great progress has been made in recognizing women’s rights, status, and role in our society. ‘Women’s rights are human rights’ We are still on a journey…
We concluded by saying that it is time today for women to come forward and play an increasing important role in the running of our society. Discussions followed with contributions from the Bahai, Hindu, Quaker and Muslim faiths.
'Gossip and Backbitting'
Prayer/Discussion Meetings on Tuesday 25/04/23
We had an interesting discussion on the topic of gossip and backbiting and to initiate conversation we followed it up with many questions on different, challenging scenarios when we need to ask ourselves if we are actually engaging in gossip and or how to avoid it. In both older and modern cultures people gossip. We talk about the faults of others, often behind their backs. We freely criticize their actions, their choices and their characters. With little regard for how much that kind of activity hurts others.
Modern media has constructed an entire industry around gossip and fault-finding - especially where it concerns high-profile public figures like politicians, entertainers and artists. This constant backbiting and gossip are corrosive and spiritually harmful - hurting both the originator and recipient.
Forms of backbiting include following celebrity culture where we tend to talk about them with friends, on Twitter, Instagram etc. Sometimes friendship can be based on gossip. In an effort to achieve a higher level of emotional intimacy with a new friend, we open up. and sometimes we bond over our annoyance with a co-worker, superior or mutual acquaintance.