On 12th August, saints from Seattle were invited by the program coordinator (Rev Karen Lindquist) of the Interfaith Community Church (http://www.scn.org/icc/) to attend their Sunday services. The church hosts interfaith congregations that last one hour every Sunday, in a similar format as Nirankari congregations are held. During the hour, a few devotional songs were followed by a discourse on a predefined topic and a lunch social. During the congregation, a few minutes were taken to introduce the Mission, in which the philosophy of “Self realization through God realization” was explained. At the time of the lunch social, a discussion with the president of the church and other executives of the interfaith church lead to the following conclusions:
· The church offered the opportunity to host a Sunday service in a way that is suitable to the Mission. This opportunity might be available as early as Nov ’07, or sometime in March ’08 – depending on availability of the church space. This would be a great opportunity for the Mission to reach out to the local community, as on average about 60 people attend the Sunday service.
· The church hosts congregations for individual faith communities during the weekdays as well. They encouraged the idea of using the church space for regular Nirankari congregations if required.
· A world religions conference is being planned by the church in January ‘08. The Mission’s involvement in any way would be a great medium to present the Mission’s philosophy to the community.
· The church has a stall which displays literature from all religions worldwide. The church has requested for the Mission’s literature to be placed on the table as well.
· A suggestion was made to create a page on their website where articles from various individuals from different faiths could be posted – a concept similar to the one on www.nirankari.org > youth > articles. The guiding committee of the church was quite enthusiastic about this idea. If a commitment is made to provide this feature, it would provide the same benefit to the local community as it has to the Nirankari website. The Mission would also be able to post its own articles on the website.
· On several occasions, people have asked questions about the Mission, and they have often been pointed to the website. It was observed that having an email address such as email@example.com would be a very useful communication tool, as it would make it much easier in following up with people who are interested in the Mission. It is easy to invoke interest in people’s minds regarding the Mission, but better communication tools can help take their interest to a level at which people become keen on receiving Divine Knowledge from an authorized saint.