An Interfaith Summit on Child Poverty

This past Wednesday evening, I dressed in what passes for my business suit and went downtown to Trinity Episcopal Church to participate in an interfaith summit on child poverty in my county, which is Buncombe.  Yes, I know--and that is, in fact, where the word "bunkum" comes from.It was sponsored by the Episcopal Diocese of western NC and others and several non-profits presented some frightening statistics about the level of poverty in this county that includes the Biltmore Estate and the … [Read more...]

Interfaith God Parenting


This is a late addition to the Patheos Symposium regarding Passing on the Faith.  In this symposium, authors from across multiple channels were asked to offer their perspective on educating children in matters of faith.I've never seen myself as good parenting material.  Many disagree with me, but I know that I much prefer kids in small doses.  Especially when they can go home to someone else's home at the end of the day.  My wife and I have struggled with this because she greatly desires a ch … [Read more...]

Military Chaplaincy – Interfaith at Risk

“As long as armies have existed, military chaplains have served alongside soldiers, providing for their spiritual needs, working to improve morale, and aiding the wounded.  The Bible tells of the early Israelites bringing their priests into battle with them.  Pagan priests accompanied the Roman legions during their conquests; as Christianity became the predominant religion of the Roman Empire, Christian chaplains administered to Roman soldiers.  In fact, the word chaplain is derived from the Lati … [Read more...]

Atchison Blue: Peace, Humility, Poise


Last night I took a break from course texts, Egyptology, and Pagan-metaphysical books to read a Patheos Book Club selection. Atchison Blue: A Search for Silence, a Spiritual Home, and a Living Faith is a tender personal account by PBS-TV religion reporter Judith Valente about the time she spends at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas.I was curious to hear what would cause a reporter to take long breaks from her demanding work to go immerse herself in the world of the cloister. It may … [Read more...]

Are You Listening To Me?


For many years I have been hired to conduct feasibility studies and community assessments. Without boring you with too much business jargon, I will simply say that 10% of such work is organization, appointments and report-writing, and 90% is listening. When you really, truly listen to people, in such a way that they know you are hearing them, they will tell you some remarkable things. Regardless of why a study is commissioned, each project has been a keen reminder that everything comes back down … [Read more...]

The World Table

Logo for the World Table

For over a year, I've been working with an organization called the Foundation for Religious Diplomacy (FRD).  I've received some criticism of that effort from both individuals and, in some cases, organizations who have some issues with the fact that the organization embraces evangelism, both simply the idea of persuasion with respect to deeply held beliefs but also the Christian practice of spreading the message of the Gospel, rather than (overtly or covertly) asking members to avoid trying to … [Read more...]

The Future of interfaith


I recently attended an international interfaith conference, the annual conference of the North American Interfaith Network (NAIN). A question put to the audience by the facilitator during one of the breakout sessions was, “What do you see or want to see as the future for interfaith?”  Those of us present mentioned several desires for that we would like to experience, most notable was a colleague’s wish to have a cup of coffee during that hall-break with a co-worker who is of a different faith. … [Read more...]