Through Dialogue, Peace is possible and it’s happening | Dec 15, 2010
In Zamboanga City – Philippines, a gathering of renewal of commitment for dialogue and peace last
December 12, 2010 in Harmony Village at Sinunuc brought together some 200 hundred Muslim and Christian members and friends of Silsilah Dialogue Movement all over Mindanao. This year’s Renewal of Commitment highlighted the sharing of the experiences and memories of partners as they continue their journey of commitment toward peace. It was also a celebration of the Silsilah Bulletin’s 25th year of telling stories to the world about the peace advocacy, peace modules and other interfaith efforts of Silsilah and its partners here in the Philippines and abroad. The Silsilah Bulletin has been an instrument in bridging a better understanding between faith traditions through modules in over 75 countries all over the world.
Focusing this year’s theme, “Sharing Memories and Facing Realities with HOPE”, the Silsilah Renewal of Commitment maintains a tradition of gathering its members to bring home the point that “we are family… bonded together by our deep desire and dream for PEACE through commitment to DIALOGUE.” Recalling the moment when each one got in touch with Silsilah’s Vision-Mission and felt attracted to it.
Prior to the event, some 60 regular and associate members of the movement attended the 2-day stay-in activity who came together to share presences and stories, mutual exchanges of joys and pains, successes and failures, inspiration and challenges – and bring all these experiences to prayer in the presence of God who is the Source of Dialogue and Peace.
The Renewal ceremony was filled with individuals who passionately working hard for dialogue and peace were present during the occasion. The Inter-Faith Council Leaders (IFCL) from Zamboanga City and Basilan; Coordinators and representatives of Silsilah
Forum areas in Mindanao; from the academe; religious, youth, as well as the Peoples Organizations (PO’s).
During the ceremony, invited distinguished guest Lt. Gen Raymundo Ferrer, WestMinCom Chief; Mr. Emiliano Sebastian, Brgy. Chairman of Sinunuc gave their messages on the occasion. They both give their full support to the mission-vision of Silsilah for future collaboration. “Fr. Sebastiano and I share the same vision for peace… and he has been helping us in the promulgation of dialogue as an instrument to resolve conflicts. Building relationships with peace advocates had been my foremost objective in addressing the security in my areas of jurisdiction”, as stressed by Gen. Ferrer to the crowd during the event.
Ms. Fatima Pir T. Allian, a Muslim member of Silsilah shared with joy and gladness her wonderful experiences with the movement as she said, “I have realized the importance of Silsilah and I appreciate the work of the people behind the movement on its 27 years onwards. I see the importance of Silsilah’s humble contribution to the academic discourse in the field of interfaith and peace advocacy. I also appreciate the beauty of our efforts in Silsilah that will work beyond our years. There should be a convergence of the mind and heart, not just in words but in action. If you are a part of something that you believe, you have to work in whatever capacity that you can give.”
The activity was concluded with the annual signing in a piece of cloth symbolizing that they have renewed not just their commitment for dialogue and peace but as well as their spirituality to a life-in-dialogue envisioned by Silsilah Vision-Mission for the next 27 years to come. Truly the gathering reveals that through Dialogue, Peace is possible and it’s happening.