The Global Faith Forum Day 3 Wrap Up

The last day of The Global Faith Forum proved to be a memorable day. One that I will not forget for a long time. The first keynote of the day, which was also the last of the conference started off in a creative way. We created an interactive video that resembled the game of Simon. You know, the game that shows you a color sequence, and you then recite the color sequence? We gave everyone in the audience glow sticks to raise when their color showed on screen (apparently Prince Turki liked his glow stick as he held his glow stick through the entire keynote). We recorded it, and I will post it later. It was a lot of fun and a great way to break the ice. Then Bob brought up Mara Vanderslice (White House Delegate, a Christian), His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal (Prince of Saudi Arabia, a Muslim), and His Excellency Le Cong Phung (Vietnamese Ambassador to the United States, a Communist). As you can tell by the pictures, a good time was had by all.

If you remember from my last post, on day two, HRH Prince Turki wore his traditional garments. However, on day three, HRH Prince Turki wore a suit and even brought a cowboy hat! His first words were “Howdy!” I had a chance to meet him after the keynote session was over, and I don’t think I’ve ever met such a humble man with the amount of humor Prince Turki had. It was truly a delight to meet him.

Back on opening night of the conference, Sirin Hamsho (A Muslim) sang a portion of the Qur’an. We were all blessed by her singing ability, and then her contributions to the panel that night. I bring that up again to say that I had opportunity to talk with her after the session. She brought up the fact that she was into TV and media. We talked about that for a bit with her and her husband. They were both incredible people, and I can’t wait to talk with them again.

Global Faith Forum Day 2 Wrap Up

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.

The Global Faith Forum Day One

The first day of the Global Faith Forum (www.globalfaithforum.org) was incredible. The kickoff keynote session was full of energy and excitement. I was blown away by the Jewish Cantar, Qur’an Singer, and our worship band. I’ll post some videos later. The speakers and panelists brought great insights into how we, though we have different beliefs, can still be friends and better the world together. My hat goes off to some incredible Jews and Muslims that were apart of the keynote session today. It was a good day of getting to meet and understand people of different faiths. For more pictures from day one, check out my flikr feed on the right column of this website.

For more information about the Global Faith Forum, just look up the twitter tag of #GFF2010