Interfaith Atlanta

Nearly Getting Arrested in Downtown Atlanta

Atlanta at night. Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

If you live in or near Metro Atlanta, and are interested in joining the great conversation between persons of different religions, faiths, and/or wisdom traditions, here are a few online resources to get you started:

  • ATLANTA INTERFAITH LEADERS FELLOWSHIP — An informal organization for bringing together persons of all faiths who share an interest in interfaith world. The fellowship’s mission is “to provide a gathering place where persons engaged in interfaith work can share ideas and experiences for the purposes of support and inspiration.”
  • FAITH ALLIANCE OF METRO ATLANTA — FAMA emerged in response to the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Its mission is “to promote respect, understanding, prayer, interaction and unity among diverse faiths in the Atlanta region and to advance the influence and voice of the faith community for the common good.” FAMA’s board of directors features members from all major faith traditions. The board plans bi-monthly assemblies for the public to encourage interfaith experiences and awareness.
  • WORLD PILGRIMS — Associated with FAMA, World Pilgrims sponsors interfaith pilgrimages for Jews, Christians, Muslims and adherents to other faiths, who travel together to a land with religious significance for each faith. According to the World Pilgrims website, “By sharing the sacred journey, true dialogue and learning take place. The participants deepen their personal faith by visiting some of the most sacred sites of their religious tradition; gain an appreciation of the shared elements of the three religious traditions, as well as an understanding and respect for the differences; and establish personal friendships with pilgrims from all three faith traditions, even in the midst of the complexities of the contemporary Middle East.”

There’s much more, including an interfaith Habitat for Humanity team, interfaith storytelling circles, an interfaith immersion experience (in which participants visit houses of worship or study connected with five faith traditions) and more. Visit Ben Campbell Johnson’s Website to learn more (Ben is an “elder statesman” of the Atlanta Interfaith Community, and is one of my heroes).

Concerning Contemplative Prayer and Spiritual Xenophobia
Five Approaches to InterSpirituality
Our Words, Our Breath, Our Bodies, Our Spirit
Growing in Love and Wisdom
About Carl McColman

Author of Befriending Silence, The Big Book of Christian Mysticism, Answering the Contemplative Call, and other books. Retreat leader. Speaker. Professed Lay Cistercian.

  • kissmyknits

    Very cool.


  • Ellen N. Duell

    Thank you for sharing about these good things that are being done in Atlanta, through the interactions of people of faith! This encourages hope, for me! So many things in this land are discouraging. I used to feel depressed during George W. Bush’s administration, and felt so much better when we all elected Barack Obama; now that I learn that most of GWB’s policies and military and secrecy programs are still being used by Mr. O, I tend to feeling “down” again. To read about these good people in Atlanta is nurturing of my faith, hope and love. –Ellen Duell

  • Laura M. LaVoie

    I wonder if this would be useful for me. I have just joined the executive team of a project for Pagan outreach. I worry sometimes that interfaith organizations aren’t Christian, Jewish or Muslim. Carl, do you have a take on whether or not that would be the case with these groups?

  • Laura M. LaVoie

    Let me try that again – aren’t as “welcoming to” non Christian, Jewish or Muslim individuals.

  • Kris Light B

    Thanks for sharing this, Carl. A great resource listing.

  • Carl McColman

    Laura, my main contact has been Ben Campbell Johnson, who is a retired Presbyterian minister and seminary professor. He knows all about my background, and seems to have no problem with it. I think anyone who is basically willing to be respectful of others would be welcome at any of these groups, but of course I could be overly optimistic. Even in an interfaith setting, there is always the risk that some individuals may be less open than others. Then again, if any of these organizations are, as organizations, unwelcoming to Pagans or adherents of other emerging and minority faiths, they should be challenged for it!