2011 – 2nd Annual 9/11 Combined Interfaith Project

Link to Photos of the Event



By Michelle Donald

     Corona Norco Interfaith Association held its 2nd Annual  9/11 Combined Interfaith Project on Saturday  September 10, 2011 at the Islamic Society of Corona Norco.  It is an annual commitment for CNIA to help fellow religious neighbors in need; changing the definition of 9/11 to one of service among different religions instead of destruction.

This year over 200 wonderful people (Catholics, Jews, Evangelicals, Mormons, Methodists, Muslims, Protestants and Lutherans) attended to work together and beautify the landscaping around the Islamic facility.  “This project could set a new standard for 9/11…we have so many volunteers out here with willing hearts” said Christy Parker, Director of Public Affairs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints/Corona Area and the Project Chairperson.

Some of the participants included the Mayor of the City of Corona, Stan Skipworth, who stated “It is a great gathering of a lot of fantastic people who are coming together for the right reasons… people are here for a common purpose which is a greater sense of community….they are not just here physically but are dedicated and united mentally, spiritually and emotionally with a singular goal”.

When asked about his thoughts with regard to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 event he stated “ there are a lot of different ways to process this weekends significance, but coming here today showing great fellowship, a great sense of community and real care, concern and compassion for one another demonstrates an important example of the values we can give through out the rest of the community.”

Also in attendance were other city officials the Mayor-protem, Eugene Montanez, City Council member Karen Speigel and her husband Bobby Spiegel, other members of city organizations were also in attendance.

The participants also included school groups.  One group from Eleanor Roosevelt High School’s Interact Club whose motto is “Service Above Self” and students from Corona Fundamental Intermediate School.  These young volunteers were asked what had motivated them to come out to the project.

Adam, a student at CFIS talked about a mitzvah or doing a good deed, he stated “with 9/11 so close, it feels good to my heart to be here and doing something for someone else. “ Allison Donald another student at CFIS stated “this event is a reminder that we can unite and do something good together”.

The students from Roosevelt’s Interact Club stated in unison “It is good that the community comes together like this with different faiths and organizations working together.   America can move forward.  This is what America needs now,  We are not broken.”

Members of the CNIA in attendance were current President  Deacon, Karen Chavez, Yousef Barber, Yousef Bhaghani, Carolin Burrell, Gail and Mark Koren, Christy Parker, Cherie Peterson, Michelle Donald, Pastor Mark Allert, past president Jack Storer, Camille Page, Victoria Stephan, Imam Osman Umarji, Azmih Hasoneh and Claudia Wilson.  Pastor Mark Allert from Peace Lutheran Church  spoke to the significance of  being a good neighbor.  He stated “it’s loving our neighbor as ourselves in a Christian way  and in the American way, it’s looking out for each other.  It’s helping out.”

A special thanks to Chick Fil-A,  Double D Rentals, Home Depot, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Stater Bros., Hendrickson Bros. Irrigation Supplies, Charles Chacon of ReMax Allstars.

“Swords Into Plowshares” – Added 9/11 Project Theme

The 9/11 Project has taken on the official theme, “Swords Into Plowshares” taken from the scripture Isaiah 4:2 in the Bible, “…and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.”

The above statue titled the same, stands at the United Nations in New York as a reminder of what their purpose is.  CNIA seeks to support this same effort in calling all faiths, nations and creeds to adopt this same purpose by working to serve side by side with people of other faiths in serving one another.  We believe that through such projects of service, mankind can better learn to understand, love and have charity for others who were previously seen as enemies, changing the world one person, group and project at a time.