Peer Network

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(January 12, 2015) I’m on a cold, rainy drive back from the Washington, DC, area following the annual conference of the COMISS Network. It’s gloomy all up and down the East Coast today, but the warmth of the group I just left has left me smiling down the miles of I-95. Judy Harrow used to attend the COMISS meeting each year, and David Oringderff of Sacred Well Congregation has been a member for ten years. David is Chair of the Cherry Hill Seminary Department of Pastoral Care and Counseling. We al … [Read more...]

Out of the Dark

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"Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul.” "Invictus" by William Ernest HenleyIn our wanderings through the strange world of interfaith we are seeking to understand and to celebrate the richness of our diversity, but I believe that the seeds of that understanding and celebration are rooted in a deeper appreciation of the human universality of our experience of life and of the s … [Read more...]

An End to a Faith-full Life

Photograph by revwarheart from morgueFile.

My maternal grandmother, whom we called Mammy, died on December 21.  I got the phone call only a few minutes before I was going to begin my Yule celebrations.  Somehow, I didn't feel "in the mood" after that.Rev. Sanders at Church of the Good Shepard in Alburtis, PA--where Mammy was a member of the choir for many years until her health prevented her from doing so--shared a side of my grandmother that I knew very little about:  her faith.Rev. Sanders shared some of his own memories of Ma … [Read more...]

Making Peace in 2015

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Taking a look back at religion in the news this year reinforces my commitment to interfaith work. The self-named Islamic State is definitely the most alarming source of a seemingly bottomless well of cruelty and violence. But religion-based conflict continues to span the globe, from kidnapped schoolgirls in Africa, to court battles with Hobby Lobby. Everything is not bad, but given the nature of media coverage, it’s easy to overlook the good news.Speaking of Hobby Lobby, although I disagree w … [Read more...]

Here’s One We All Share

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How many times have I posted here about the frustration of working with people who are looking so hard for the ways we are alike that they completely ignore what is unique about me or my religion?Today, however, we have something big in common. No matter what our spirituality or where in the Northern Hemisphere we live, we all agree that the night will be very long tonight and that tomorrow the days will begin to lengthen. Whether we celebrate Yule, Hannukah, Santa Lucia Day, Zoroastrian … [Read more...]

The Spirit of the Season

As we enter the winter holiday season I am struck by the discord that seems to arise each year at this time over whom the holiday “belongs to”. It’s as if there is a conclusion that the celebrations of the season are limited to one religion only, that the celebrations are a finite commodity to be “owned” by one group or another. How silly. Just because I celebrate Yule, someone else celebrates Christmas, and another joins with family to honor Kwanzaa doesn’t mean that any of us impacts the meanin … [Read more...]

I Don’t Need A Holiday

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While I’m having a quiet day at home this Thanksgiving, I’m feeling the deep settled-in peace of gratitude. Made it through surgery last month, made it through 2 days of fasting and an unpleasant medical procedure, made it most of the way through a difficult work project, family and friends are all relatively well. Life’s not perfect, but it sure is an adventure, one I’ll happily take. It’s tempting to comment today on such recent firestorms as the riots in Ferguson, the continuing atrocities by … [Read more...]

Hometown Pilgrimage – 2014

Every year the Interfaith Mission Service (IMS) here in Huntsville sponsors a Hometown Pilgrimage with the express purpose of celebrating and embracing the religious diversity of the City of Huntsville. This year's Hometown Pilgrimage is co-sponsored by the University of Alabama-Huntsville Office of Diversity and the City of Huntsville's Office of Multicultural Affairs. The Hometown Pilgrimage began on 2 September 2014 and runs until 2 November. This year the Pilgrimage has included a number of … [Read more...]


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