This article by Ken Ellsworth was in last Sunday's Abilene Reporter-News. It raises some of the questions many of us will have to ask as we continue to hold to the unique claims of Christ (try revisiting Lewis's MERE CHRISTIANITY) while living in an increasingly diverse culture. Yes, even in Abilene. Assumptions that were possible fifty years ago in the Bible Belt can't be made today. It invites us to think about how we can follow the one who said "I am the way, the truth, and the life" while doing so with humility and respect for others. I appreciate ARN's permission to reprint it here. Two groups met at noon Thursday in Abilene to celebrate the National Day of Prayer with prayer services. But they did not pray together. They prayed apart, sadly separated, it seemed to me. The separation caused me to wonder. If it is true that a ''family that prays together stays together,'' could it be applied to a community? ''The community that prays together stays together.'' Probably not, and it's probably not necessary. That may be why Abilene has hundreds of churches. People like to pray with kith, kin and kind. I attended some of each service Thursday. One group met at Everman Park, drawing about 200 people. It was exclusively Christian, in fact, evangelical Christian. The service was organized by Pray Big Country, a group of local pastors. The other group met in front of City Hall. About 80 attended. Its participants included people of the following faiths: Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Unitarianism. This service was organized by the Abilene Interfaith Council. The Christian service began with praise songs. Many participants raised their arms in the air, palms up as if they were receiving love radiating down from the heavens. This was not the kind of worship service that I grew up with. The music was unfamiliar and accompanied by guitars and percussion. I grew up with J.S. Bach fugues played on church organs. It was inspiring. I'm not sure praise service music is as good. For me, trading in Bach for praise music might be something akin to trading in Shakespeare for comic books. Maybe I'm an old fuddy-duddy. Well, there's no ''maybe'' about it. There were some speakers. Most emphasized their belief that the only path to salvation is through Jesus and that other faiths are in error. I see how people can think that way, but I am usually thinking more like this: ''In matters of religion, the only absolute wrong is to believe without doubt that you are absolutely right.'' But that sort of thinking could be wrong. One pastor recalled the visit to Abilene several years ago of a Buddhist monk. The monk blessed the city during a ritual. The pastor on Thursday hinted that the Buddhist blessing might have brought bad things to Abilene, including the drought. I don't know how the pastor can believe that. I'm quite sure it rains in Buddhist countries. At City Hall, the atmosphere was much different. People of different faiths and denominations offered prayers. For me, there was warmth to it. It was lovely to watch people of obviously different faiths hugging each other, sharing each other's humanity and the need of most to believe. At the end of the ceremony, loaves of bread were passed out to symbolize that we all can sit down and break bread together regardless of our differences. Almost everybody had a bite. At the back of the crowd 10 or 12 young people wore shirts that said ''Jesus Crew.'' I had seen the same shirts earlier at Everman Park. For some reason, those young people refused to participate in the breaking of the bread. They weren't obnoxious about it. In fact, they were polite. They just quietly turned away. I don't know, but I think Jesus would have had a bite.