At 2 p.m. we will gather and pray at Al-Aqsa mosque, at Third and Jefferson. There will be prayers, singing, and poetry by Philadelphia poet laureate Sonia Sanchez and others at our second stop, St. Augustine's Catholic Church at Fourth and Vine. We will close and have a great meal at Rodeph Shalom synagogue at Broad and Green.
On the way, as we walk, we will share, with friends we've never met before, something of our story while hearing something of theirs. We will celebrate and embrace our diversity. We will pray with our feet. Our banners will not be political - they will be about peace.
Being that this is our 10th walk, we are retracing the steps of our first one. Never will I forget the very real shakes and vibration I felt as the imam from Al-Aqsa chanted from the Quran on the altar at St. Augustine's. It seemed like we all were walking on new ground; the power of love and reconciliation seemed to have entered our pores. Sitting in the great hall at Rodeph at the end of that day, gazing at the hordes of happy and satisfied faces, we knew we had done something that was good; we had started something that would grow.
Essentially then, still in the shadow of 9/11, we walked as an antidote to the hate, terror, and prejudice that we saw around us. Ten years later, in the shadow of another cowardly and unforgivable act of violence, we will walk again.
We would be blessed and honored to have you join us.
Jim McGovern is a local writer who works as a drug-alcohol counselor and facilitates a 12-step class for the nonaddicted. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 12stepsforall.com. For more information about the walk, including parking and the availability of buses trailing the event, visit interfaithpeacewalk.org.