People of many faiths met together at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in Dalkeith recently to celebrate International Women’s Day.
An evening of talks and songs by women of various faiths had been organised, with the title, ‘My Faith Changes Me; I Change the World.’
Following a warm welcome by Marianne Neilson, who heads the LDS church’s women’s organisation in the Edinburgh area, speakers included Amy Chambers, a Protestant; Patricia Winter, a Latter-day Saint (Mormon); Louisa Gupta of the Brahma Kumaris; and Mel Shinton, representing Zen Buddhism. There were also readings from the Quran, the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and a quote from Valarie Kaur, a Sikh woman, on revolutionary love.
A choir of LDS women sang a song celebrating women of faith in every age and place, reflecting on the effect women can have on the generations coming after them as they live good lives.
Eleven-year-old Rebekah Sneddon, a local Latter-day Saint who participated by reading verses from the Quran, said: “All the talks were really lovely and it was a great evening.”
In her closing remarks, Marianne Neilson mentioned the unity that comes from interfaith events such as these, and how much we can learn from each other.
Many in the audience remarked afterwards how touched they had been by all the talks, and all seemed to feel a deep sense of connection to the speakers who had shared how their lives had changed through living their faith.
Louisa Gupta, beginning her talk, said: “It’s good to be in a place where people like to talk about God.”
This sentiment was echoed by many in attendance as they mingled and chatted afterwards. This was the second year that the Dalkeith Mormons have hosted an interfaith event for International Women’s Day, and its warm reception means it is now likely to be an annual event.