The Words of the McLackand Family

Interfaith Harmony Week Commemorated in Jakarta

Ursula McLackland
February 11, 2012
UPF -- Indonesia

Jakarta, Indonesia -- UPF-Indonesia organized World Interfaith Harmony Week programs at the Christian University of Indonesia on February 10 and at Sekolah Wijayakusuma on February 11.

Christian University of Indonesia

This age of globalization needs enlightened people who can help benefit all humanity. Our challenge is to encourage understanding, respect, and cooperation among people of all faiths for the well-being of our communities and peace in the world. In this spirit of love, tolerance and respect, UPF-Indonesia, the Universitas Kristen Indonesia, and Gerakan Fajar Nusantara (Gafatar) jointly organized a celebration of the UN World Interfaith Harmony Week on February 10 on the theme "Interfaith Harmony and Global Cooperation: Exploring Local Wisdom for Building Peace." Over 350 participants from various faith traditions and all walks of life gathered in the Seminar Hall of the Faculty of Economics at Universitas Kristen Indonesia.

After the National Anthem led by the Gafatar Youth Choir, Mr. D. Robert Tambunan, Dean of the Faculty of Economics, offered the opening prayer, followed by a warm welcome extended by Dr. Wesley Simanjuntak, Vice-Rector of Academics, on behalf of the host.

The Chief Guest, Amb. Abdul Wahid Maktub, Special Advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigrations, enlightened the audience with his dynamic and entertaining keynote address testifying to the remarkable work UPF does for the cause of peace and interfaith harmony around the world. Although Prof. Dr. Agus Sartono, Deputy Minister for Education and Religion at the Coordinating Ministry for People's Welfare, was unable to attend the seminar in person, he requested his deputy Dr. Femmy Eka Kartika Putri to deliver his message on this important occasion.

After a brief video presentation about UPF International, Mrs. Ursula McLackland, Regional Secretary General of UPF-Asia, outlined "Universal Principles of Peace and Reconciliation" that provide common ground for inter-religious cooperation and reconciliation. Mr. Mahful M. Tumanurung, MA, Chairman of Gerakan Fajar Nusantara, looked at historical developments in the history of religion and stressed the need to "Explore Local Wisdom for Building Peace." After a beautiful song by the Gafatar Choir, Mr. Nyoman Udayana, Head of Education at Parisadha Hindu Dharma Indonesia, explained the main tenets of the Hindu faith, which sees the whole world as one family.

The university choir gave a stunning performance during the lunch break and prepared the atmosphere for the panel discussion in the afternoon session. Panelists from different faiths, Dr. Abdul Wahid Maryanto from the largest Muslim Organization Nadhlatul Ulema, Catholic priest Prof. Dr. Franz Magnis Suseno SJ, Protestant minister Rev. Dr. Karl Erari, and Imam Addaruqutni from the Central Board of Muhammadiyah gave brief explanations of history and purpose of the World Interfaith Harmony Week and their tradition's contribution to harmonious interfaith relations. The audience responded with passionate expressions of their concerns and views on the issue. The moderator, Dr. Payaman Simanjuntak, Vice-Chairman of the National Productivity Council of the Committee on Productivity Promotion, summed up the discussions in his concluding remarks.

Mr. David McLackland, Education Director of UPF-Indonesia, explained the significance of being an Ambassador for Peace before 21 selected participants were presented with the distinguished Ambassador for Peace certificate.

Even after the official closing of the program, many guests, filled with excitement, stayed on for individual discussions and photo sessions, and the members of the Asian Leadership Training team had the chance to interact and bond with the Indonesian youths.

Wijayakusuma School

UPF and Wijayakusuma School in Jakarta conducted a coloring competition on February 11 on the topic of "Global Harmony and Peace" for the kindergarten and elementary school students. Five members of the Asian Leadership Training team accompanied the UPF staff for this exciting program and created a lively atmosphere by performing songs from different countries in Asia and a group dance.

The program was launched by the elementary school principal and Mr. David McLackland from UPF, who gave the opening remarks followed by the introduction of the Asia Leadership Team members to the students. About 100 students participated in coloring competition, and at the end nine elementary and three kindergarten students received certificates from UPF for the best coloring.

While the younger students were coloring, Mrs. Ursula McLackland delivered a lecture about "The Family as the School of Love" to the high school students. After the lecture, the high school students raised many questions and discussed with the lecturer about the value of the family and pure love education. At the end, the Wijayakusuma student choir performed a beautiful song, and Mr. Sandy Saptari, their English teacher, gave the closing remarks expressing his gratitude to UPF for motivating students to build peace, harmony, and a family culture.

The chairwoman of the school, Mrs. Hj. Hadijah Batubara, showed her heart of appreciation by giving gifts to all the UPF staff and Asia Leadership Team members. 

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