It may be a difficult question to answer—“What is faith?”—but on Sunday, Oct. 13, many gathered in Veterans Memorial Plaza downtown for the inaugural Festival of Faiths to help answer that. The festival hosted more than 60 different faith-based churches, organizations, and schools, as well as an interfaith panel, a prayer service, and a stage for musical and performance arts.
Our titular question was posed to several attendees, and their answers expressed the variety of beliefs represented at the festival:
"Faith is our belief in something of higher origin, spirit or significance. Faith is love, understanding and a deeper connection with our sacred self."
—K.P. Singh, a leader in the Sikh Community of Indianapolis
"Faith is a verb—do it!"
—David Carlson, Ph.D., Professor at Franklin College, representing Shoulder to Shoulder
"Trust in power beyond ourselves."
—Don Knebel, president of Center for Interfaith Cooperation
"Hope & Peace"
—Donald Lassere, CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville
"Faith is responding with one's whole life to the Presence of God within and without one's person and living God's love in prayer and action."
—Sister Norma Rocklage of the Franciscan Sisters of Oldenburg, Ind., representing Marian University
"Faith is the totality of humankind's being, a combination of belief, doubt, and reason that drives both our worldview and practice."
—Aaron Harrison, student majoring in Religion at Butler University
"Hope & Unity"
—Andrea Guajardo and Chance Lewandowski, students from Anderson University
"Faith is being a kind-hearted human being."
—Ani Choekyi, Tibetan Buddhist nun
"There is only one God. Love for all—hatred for none!"
—Hasan Hakeem, Muslim
"Faith is confidence in the abundant possibilities of God, sometimes in spite of present circumstances."
—Rev. Grace Burton-Edwards of Trinity Episcopal Church and St. Richard’s Episcopal School
"Faith is connecting with a higher being, which I call G-d, and having it affect one in thought, speech & action."
—Rabbi Mendel Schusterman, Lubavitch of Indiana