A Very Special Visit

On September 15th 2014, four women leaders from Iraq, Macedonia, Philippines and South Africa visited the Arkansas House of Prayer. These guests of Department of State were learning about and exploring best practices in peacemaking, conflict resolution, and community activism.

Rev Mary Vano gave them a tour of St Margaret’s Episcopal Church and Sophia Said took them for a tour of Arkansas House of Prayer. Later Sophia presented on the ongoing challenges between faith groups, different programs run by the Interfaith Center, and some of the peacemaking tools that are working for Arkansas communities.

Guests were policy makers from their respective countries and were inspired by the idea of an Interfaith prayer house.

3rd Annual Sept. 11 Interfaith Gathering

“Love Thy Neighbor: Letting Go of Fear”

September 11, 2014; 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church

20900 Chenal Parkway, Little Rock, AR 72223

The Interfaith Center and Arkansas House of Prayer invite you to their 3rd annual September 11 interfaith gathering.

This year’s theme is “Love Thy Neighbor: Letting Go of Fear.” The service will bring together local interfaith leaders, members of the Interfaith Center Multi-Faith Youth Group, and representatives from several of the major world religions in a commitment to universal peace. Highlighting the event will be live musical performances from Stephanie Smittle, John Willis, Psalm 150 gospel choir and a multicultural ensemble singing prayers for peace from the major world religions. A reception featuring foods from around the world will follow.

Previous years’ events have drawn over 600 participants from area Christian congregations as well as members of Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Bahai, and Unitarian Universalist communities in Central Arkansas. The purpose of the event was to create a safe space to suspend the usual debates that divide people of different religions and instead to elevate the teachings from our diverse faiths that encourage us to love beyond differences.

The gathering will take place inside St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.

All are welcome.

The mission of the Interfaith Center is to reduce the hatred and fear among the world religions.

The mission of Arkansas House of Prayer is to be an interfaith haven, set apart in Nature, dedicated to contemplative prayer, meditation, and quiet, where all are welcome.

Working With The Tough Stuff

We know that within the Divine is a deep overarching compassion.

Also, within the Divine and within us is a calm, non-reactive presence of stillness that can stay immobile in the midst of any situation. As we grow spiritually we develop more of this spiritual immobility and non-reactivity.

Join us for a workshop that explains these concepts and gives us the skills to practice this stillness in the midst of challenge.

Sunday, August 10, 2014, at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 20900 Chenal Parkway, 72223. Cost is $35. For more information or to register, call 501.821.7773 or e-mail us.

Spring Meditation Workshop

Give Thanks

Compassion In Action

Centering Prayer and Welcoming Prayer


Arkansas House of Prayer is happy to pass on the information about two opportunities for learning more about prayer and meditation this coming month in Arkansas.  The House of Prayer is not sponsoring these events directly, so please read on and follow the links if you  would like to know more.

Welcoming Prayer Workshop at St. Mark’s Little Rock

Saturday, March 9

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 1000 N. Mississippi, Little Rock, will offer a Welcoming Prayer Workshop on Saturday, March 9, 8:30 am – 2:30 pm.  Welcoming Prayer is a method of consenting to God’s presence in all of the events of our daily life and contributes to the process of transformation in Christ initiated in Centering Prayer.  Mary Dwyer, the presenter, has been involved with Centering Prayer since the mid-1980s and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.   The cost of the workshop is $25, which incluces lunch.


Meditation Retreat at St. Scholastica Monastery

March 14- 17, 2013

Consider giving yourself the Gift of a Silent Retreat in Fort Smith, AR during this Lenten Season. This retreat is designed to provide a safe and sacred container in which to spend time with God, who Thomas Keating calls: The Divine Therapist. The retreat will be conducted in silence with three sessions of centering prayer each day. There will also be some spiritual teaching provided by Cynthia Bourgeault CDs. Cynthia’s book, Centering Prayer and Inner Awakening is recommended (but not required) reading along with Thomas Keating’s, Open Mind, Open Heart.

This retreat is a good way to “jump-start” a centering prayer practice and also a good refresher for experienced practitioners. For information and registration go to www.stscho.org and/or contact the retreat director, Nick Cole, at  ngcole42@gmail.com or 970-275-1170. The cost is $225.00. Some partial scholarships are available. The retreat begins at 7pm, Thursday, March 14, and concludes after lunch Sunday, March 17, 2013.

A Recap of Compassion in Action

Compassion in Action

September 11, 2012

On September 11, 2012 at 4:30 p.m. the Interfaith Center hosted “Compassion in Action,” an interfaith event held on the grounds of the Arkansas House of Prayer. Over 130 people from many different religious backgrounds gathered to pray for peace and to bless the people doing interfaith work in the community. The Multi-Faith Youth Group processed into the event carrying a new interfaith prayer box to be permanently stationed at the House of Prayer. Leslie Singer of B’Nai Israel and board member of the House of Prayer welcomed the community to the event and introduced the speakers.

Siva Soora offered a Hindu prayer for Universal Peace and was followed by the Rev. Susan Sims Smith, Director of the Interfaith Center, who gave an address on the meaning of Compassion in Action and encouraged participants to continue to both deepen their commitment to their respective faiths and to engage in interfaith work as an outgrowth of that commitment (the full text of the speech can be found below). Anna Cox of the Ecumenical Buddhist Society and Compassion Works for All then called leaders in the Arkansas interfaith community to come forward for a blessing of their work.

Sarah Catherine Gutierrez, House of Prayer board member and Program Administrator for the Interfaith Center, explained the gift a new prayer box for the Arkansas House of Prayer and delivered the vision for an interfaith prayer wall where all can leave prayers and intentions to be prayed for by people in the interfaith community. The Rev. Dr. Anika Whitfield followed with a prayer of blessing over the prayer box.

The keynote address was delivered by P. Allen Smith, garden designer and author, who talked about the garden as a place for the opening of the heart and was followed by the dedication of a new maple tree by Sophia Said of the Islamic Center of Arkansas and the introduction of student representatives of the Multi-Faith Youth Group who delivered individual prayers by the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths. All participants then processed to the tree and said in unison an original prayer written by the Multi-Faith Youth Group for the event (the text of the prayer can be found below).

A reception followed offering attendees a chance to enjoy delicious food and to meet each other.

Many thanks to the Rev. Susan Sims Smith, John Willis, Terry Hornbeck, Susan Bauman, Sophia Said, Leslie Singer, the Rev. Cindy Fribourg, the Rev. Dr. Chris Keller, Rick Smith, Sarah Catherine Gutierrez, P. Allen Smith and members of the Arkansas House of Prayer Board for their help supporting, planning, and organizing the event.

“Just returned from an interfaith gathering at the Arkansas House of Prayer. Prayers for peace were offered up by Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, and Christians, including about a dozen teenagers from various traditions. I’m grateful to my friends John Willis, Sarah-Catherine Phillips Gutierrez, Susan Sims Smith and everyone who made the event possible. That it happened is even more significant than what happened, lovely as it was.”

The Rev. Scott Walters

Centering Prayer Workshop

Compassion In Action

The Interfaith Center and the Arkansas House of Prayer invite you to “Compassion in Action.” The event will be held on September 11, 2012 from 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm at the Arkansas House of Prayer and will bring together the Multi Faith Youth Group, local interfaith leaders, and representatives from each of the major world religions in a commitment to universal peace.

We will plant a large maple tree for the garden of the House of Prayer, dedicate a new prayer box, and offer prayers for our local community’s interfaith leaders.

The keynote speaker for the event will be P. Allen Smith, garden designer and author.

The Multi Faith Youth Group will offer prayers from each of their respective faith traditions as well as an original interfaith prayer.

A reception in the gardens will follow. The Arkansas House of Prayer will be open to visitors. All are welcome.