Day 2 of the Global Faith Forum was Incredible. The day started off with a Keynote address from Al Weiss, the President of Walt Disney World Theme Parks. Remember, Al Weiss spoke at Northwood Church a month or two back (Check out the pictures of Al Weiss at Northwood Church here). Mr. Weiss talked about mobilizing faith through the business realm. The next keynote hosted by Os Guiness, Mark Galli, and Mark DeYmaz dealt with messaging Faith. They asked the question, how do we not disparage one another? How do we communicate truthfully without denigration. The final Keynote of the night was kicked off by some awesome worship by the Northwood Worship team.
Bob then gave a quick Keynote address of why we are here. The address really set the tone for the night. There was not a dry eye in the room. John Esposito, a noted author and professor at Georgetown University, followed Bob. He talked about perceptions of Islam in the West and how it affects us. He, a catholic, created a humorous atmosphere for which he and Bob exchanged many jokes back and forth. Muslims, Jews, Catholics, and Christians, all enjoyed a good laugh with each other. Here’s John giving his Keynote:
John Esposito was then followed by a pannel of His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal, His Excellency Le Cong Phung (Vietnamese Ambassador), and Henry Mikhail, brought an honest view of Evangelical Christians from a Muslim, Communist, and Palestinian view. Each one of them brought and honest view about stereotypes that are completely untrue and unfair. The thing that blew me away the most was the fact that Prince Turki spoke unbelievably honestly and humbly. You’ll have to wait for the audio or video to be posted online to really understand what happened, but he expressed the great love that he felt at the conference that he has never felt from Christians before. It was truly and awesome and real moment.
Finally Eboo Patel, finished the night with a very real message on “what are you doing to foster multifaith conversation and engagement?” He brought forth examples such as his own kids and stories from his life that have personally scarred him, and his relationship with our pastor, Bob Roberts, has helped him overcome those factors. He, a muslim, and Bob Roberts, a Christian, have a very real friendship and love that was very evident when Eboo Spoke, even though they believe in different ways of reaching Salvation. To say that Day 2 of the Global Faith Forum was incredible, would definitely be an understatement.