Peace Together is an inclusive interfaith organization based in Tarrant Country, whose mission is to build relationships among people of all beliefs, cultures, and backgrounds. The Peace Together Walk is a public activity and event that encourages people to put this into action by linking individuals from diverse communities with a public walk designed to build and strengthen relationships between member organizations and the general public.
Attendees from all faiths, religions and even those absent of religion, gathered together to fellowship with each other and to promote the idea that people from all (or no) religions CAN come together for the bigger picture and benefit the community with interfaith peace.
Folks wearing hijabs ate with folks wearing yarmulkes, as well as others who had no outside indication of their faith. There were also several atheists present, as Peace Together has no restrictions about who may attend the Walk. Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker gave a tour of the Beth Israel synagogue and explained the items on the altar to the people in attendance.
Peace Together was founded in 2017 by Howard Rosenthal, a resident of Southlake.
“In August of 2017, there were some horrible things that happened in Charlottesville, VA. I became very disturbed by what I saw there. I saw people marching and carrying torches, wearing Swastikas, yelling out anti – Semitic and anti-Muslim lines,” Rosenthal said. “I just felt like maybe, in society, there was some kind of turning point. I had no idea what to do, but I just felt horrible. I started thinking that there must be something that folks, such as the people you see out here today, could do,” he said.
“And so I started talking to people and meeting with people from different institutions, some religious, from the Grapevine, Southlake and Colleyville areas, but I also met with some with no religious ties whatsoever, including Humanists, Free-Thinkers and Atheists. We started gathering, and we all felt as if we had a very important, but rather simple, singular mission of building relationships with our neighbors,” Rosenthal explained.
“We just started from there. We held what we call, ‘The Big Event’ down the street at United Methodist Church here in Colleyville in February of 2018. I thought, ‘Maybe we’ll get 30 or 40 people,’ but we got 300 – 400 people that came that February day. We had speakers from all different belief systems, and then we decided to put on a Walk. We did that in November of last year and found that it was successful. People did want to come together and have an opportunity to meet new people and to share their peaceful thoughts about the state of the world,” said Rosenthal.
“We don’t encourage or allow people to ‘witness’ to people of other faiths. That’s not who we are at all. As an example, a year ago, after the terrible killings at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, we held a vigil here at this synagogue and the Peace Together community was here in large numbers. It was standing room only,” Rosenthal added.
“After the things that went on in Christchurch in New Zealand, we held a vigil at Town Center in Southlake and people knew that we would be there to support each other, and because we have built these relationships, that we could count on each other. Those kinds of times are so meaningful, along with the peaceful activities like the one we are able to do today, define what we are about,” Rosenthal explained.
“There’s a lack of tolerance and understanding in today’s society, and we want to try to keep with this mission. Throughout the year, we will have some smaller events, like we had at First Presbyterian with Pastor Ashley. We are open to other things that will bring people together for this common mission.
“We have received some information about something coming up at White’s Chapel. I think there’s some information being handed out about an event in February. We just want to continue this message. We may not look alike or think alike, but as long as we are peaceful, then why should I impose my history or background on somebody else?” Rosenthal said before he was called away to make a presentation.
Peace Together is currently made up of the following organizations/faith communities:
- Baha’is of Northeast Tarrant County
- Bear Valley Community Church
- Brite Divinity School
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
- Congregation Beth Israel
- Daughters of Abraham
- Euless First United Methodist Church
- Fellowship of Freethought – Dallas
- First Presbyterian Church of Grapevine
- First United Methodist Church of Colleyville
- Good Shepherd Catholic Community
- Islamic Association of Mid-Cities
- Islamic Center of MOMIN
- Islamic Center of Southlake
- The Jewish Federation of Fort Worth & Tarrant County
- Missional Wisdom Foundation
- Multicultural Alliance
- Professional Good Doers
- St. John Church
- White’s Chapel United Methodist Church
A special THANK YOU goes out to Deb Hinton for inviting us out!
Enjoy these photos from the Peace Together Walk held on November 2, 2019: