Archives for October 2013

What to say when they come to your door

In the end, I treated these Jehovah’s Witnesses like I’d treat anyone: with compassion and courtesy. Their god wants them to go door-to-door; my gods want me to treat strangers with respect. [Read more…]

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They’ve Got My Back

Little white country church, a beautiful Sunday afternoon, friends, cookies and punch on the picnic tables outside, a harpist and flautist playing a pleasant half-hour prelude – this was the scene that greeted me when I arrived at Clayton Memorial UU in Newberry, S.C. on October 20 for a panel discussion called “Interfaith Perspectives on Compassion.” [Read more…]

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Blessings on the New House

  a welcoming garden bench When interfaith really works in the religious corners of a community, you are rewarded with doing more than the monthly meeting and candlelight vigils when something goes terribly wrong in the world. You establish relationships with people on other spiritual paths and you bond over the things that people bond [Read More…]

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Halloween: an Interfaith Teachable Moment

For Pagans, the month of October has often been a moment where we take a deep breath and prepare to see members of our extended community drug into the limelight by the media, usually in fairly sensational ways and while these sorts of situations sometimes leave us shaking our collective heads, they do represent an opportunity for some interfaith engagement. [Read more…]

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Community Pilgrimage – Sharing Our Faiths

As modern Pagans here in the United States we haven’t seen attempts at eradicating us from existence. However, there are verifiable cases where children were taken from their parents, jobs were lost, homes were destroyed, and individuals were harassed because of their beliefs…because those beliefs were “different” and therefore suspect. And we have seen those in the Pagan community express prejudice against those of other faiths because we too are guilty of judging others when their beliefs differ from our own. [Read more…]

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My Compassionate Winston-Salem (CWS) group recently served a wonderful meal to the residents of the Bethesda Center, an overnight shelter for the homeless. What was really interesting about this experience is that we had to keep reminding the employees and the residents of the homeless shelter that our group was not from a faith-based organization. [Read more…]

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On Disagreements and Discrimination

In interfaith, it’s all too easy to see another’s point of view during a conversation. This is, I think, a skill that must be honed; it’s not something that always comes naturally. So, when I struggle to see things from another’s point of view, I often find myself returning to the problem until I find a reconciliation. For the last few months, I’ve been engaged—largely silently—in such a struggle around the question of religious discrimination especially as it relates to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate and various impacts of marriage equality. [Read more…]

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Diversity – A Lot of Work

Despite appearances, I live in a wonderfully-diverse state. Were I to have any doubts about that, I would only have to turn up at an interfaith event to realize just how much variety abounds. My life has been changed so much for the better by my growing friendships with people whose beliefs and backgrounds differ a great deal from mine. They cause me to continually reflect, challenge myself, seek to better understand things unthinkable and mysterious, and examine the true nature of relationships both in and out of the context of spirituality. [Read more…]

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