I discovered Cheryl Ann's because one of my children is allergic to milk. Otherwise, I would never have known the joys of a kosher bakery--delicious breads, excellent cookies, and yes, amazing frosting. Experiencing other cultures and traditions is a wonderful thing.
I had a first-hand look at a number of cultures, of the religious kind, when I attended an interfaith service a few months ago. If you have never been to one, I urge you to go. The service was a service of healing, in response to the Boston Marathon bombings. The faiths that were represented that night included Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Congregational, Methodist, Baha'i, Episcopal, Quaker, and Evangelical. Each representative leader of the faiths gave a short reading or sermon. They walked in pairs, and took turns standing in front of those gathered, sharing thoughts and spiritual reflections. A rabbi walked with a leader from the Baha'i community, a priest walked with a Quaker leader, an Evangelical pastor walked with a Muslim leader, and so on. A soloist led a sung response. A pianist played a haunting and emotional Brahms piece. At the end, everyone held a candle, and the faith leaders came down to light the candles of those in attendance. It was particularly fitting that the leaders giving the flame were not necessarily of the faith of the person receiving it.
There was a beautiful sense of calm at this service. There was also a poignant unity. All of the readings were grounded in similar principles of a quest for peace, guidance, and comfort. It was wonderful to see the similarities of the assembled faiths, and to see that despite our differences, we share a great deal. Indeed, I think we all share more than we realize, in faith, and in life.
Look out for those opportunities to share with one another, or to experience something that is different from your own corner of the world. The results are inspiring. Have a fantastic, frosting-filled week!