PHILADELPHIA – A Wiccan High Priestess took part in an interfaith prayer circle today as part of the activities surrounding the Democratic National Convention this week. The DNC Prayer Circle is hosting this four day event, during which clergy and other faith leaders representing various communities lead attendees in a short prayer daily at 9:00 am. High Priestess Karen Bruhin with the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel and Tenders of the Earth Temple joined Eileen Bowman with Soka Gakkai International: Nichiren Buddhism, and Dr. Jessica Russo with Falun Dafa for today’s prayers.The DNC Prayer Circle organizers said that they host these events because their members believe “… the work that the delegates will do inside for the DNC, and the work that the demonstrators will do on the streets of Philadelphia, are both worthy of spiritual support.”
They also said that they want to help the city and the world to come together and heal spiritually.
High Priestess Bruhin noted that she joined the effort because, “There is so much rancor and polarization surrounding our current political process. I want to do my part to try and add more balance and tolerance to the situation.”
The DNC Prayer Circle isn’t officially affiliated with the Democratic Party or the convention itself. It is a group lead by Vanette Jordan-Lumogo, a member on the DNC Action Committee, a Philadelphia-based coalition offering assistance to organizers and visitors taking actions around or protesting the DNC.
Bruhin said that she was talking with Ms. Jordan-Lumogo about the upcoming Prayer circle when the opportunity to participate arose. “When I found out why and that it was an interfaith event, I asked how interfaith it was and explained who I was, and blatantly asked to take part. They were absolutely ecstatic to have another faith involved.”Bruhin led one of the prayers Tuesday morning – the second day of the Prayer Circle event. She said that everyone held hands while standing in a circle. “People were there for a purpose and remained focused and present,” she noted.
Bruhin said that she didn’t write out the prayer in advance, but spoke from the heart. This is what she is reported to have prayed:
I call on Athena of the Polis, Lady protector of the city the state. Guide the Delegates and leaders here let them remember that their civic duty to us as a people and nation is to do what is best for the whole of the nation and not an elite few. Remind them that civil and respectful discourse is what we need most now. Let them know passionate speech needs to be tempered and honed until agreement can be reached.
I also call on Columbia, who was frequently invoked by the Founders. Remind those that represent us that the concepts of liberty and freedom are not achieved, by placing others at a disadvantage. Only by working together, towards our mutual good, can we all truly be free.
So mote it be.
In retrospect, Bruhin said that being part of the interfaith effort outside the DNC convention was a wonderful and powerful experience. “All the prayers revolved around the themes of unity, compassion and recognizing the inequalities that currently exist. I wish I could take more time from my day job to be there for the next two days. It was an honor and privilege to work with these individuals this morning.”