Interfaith Service Celebrates Water As Emblem Of Hope

June 14, 2009

Author: Molly Rossiter

Source: The Gazette

Every speaker at an interfaith worship service Saturday in downtown Cedar Rapids brought a small container of water along to the podium.

Exactly one year after Eastern Iowa was bemoaning water and the rivers it flooded, the 60 people who gathered in the parking lot of First Presbyterian Church, 310 Third St. SE, came not to damn rivers but to celebrate them — and to acknowledge water as an emblem of hope.

“Water is a powerful symbol,” said the Rev. Pat Genereux, diocesan coordinator for disaster and recovery for the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. “It is a symbol of birth, and it is a symbol that retains life.

“And, today, it is a reminder for all of us of what has happened.”

When Genereux finished speaking, he poured his container of water into a larger urn.

“There was great fear last year with the coming of the water,” said Nancy Rhodes, representing the American Indian community, “but people moved past the fear.