What to say when they come to your door

Mormons in the wild (Nicest people you'll ever meet; not a rude missionary among them).

I was struggling with what to write this week, when an interfaith encounter came to my door. The gods work in obvious and unsubtle ways. And, as a side note, I'm a day late and a dollar short in posting this week. I had a thesis defense on Monday, so I hope you will all forgive me for the delay.I'm sure a lot of you have had similar experiences and have likely even devised a method of handling the door to door religion salespeople. I've heard a number of different ways of dealing with … [Read more...]

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.”My colleagues on the panel were Bishop Herman Yoos of the S.C. Synod of the ELCA (Lutheran) Church, Imam Omar Shaheed, Rabbi Jonathan Case, and … [Read more...]

Blessings on the New House


 a welcoming garden benchWhen 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 over. And if you are very lucky, you make friends. Real friends. That has been one of the gifts of the years of interfaith I've done--I have actual … [Read more...]

Halloween: an Interfaith Teachable Moment

By Man vyi (Own work (own photo)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

During my education classes, we talked a lot about "teachable moments," times during which the teaching of a topic becomes easier or essential.  October is, in my mind, perfectly suited as an interfaith teachable moment for Pagans.Jason Mankey, over at Raise the Horns, offered his own reflections on Halloween and challenged other bloggers here at Patheos to share theirs.  For Pagans, the month of October has often been a moment where we take a deep breath and prepare to see members of our ex … [Read more...]

Community Pilgrimage – Sharing Our Faiths

For our ancient ancestors having a fear of that which is “different” was a survival trait that kept them alive.  And this deeply engrained trait has remained active throughout human history into the present time.  However, it is now more of a problem than it is a help in promoting peace and understanding amongst groups of peoples. One area in which this fear of the “different” has remained strong is the realm of religion.  And this fear has led to violence, open warfare, and even genocide, not i … [Read more...]



I’m involved with many activities that use the terms social activism, community awareness, sustainability, equality, interfaith, tolerance, acceptance, and strength in diversity.  The list of terms could go on and on.  One of those activities happened during the Compassion Games, September 11th – 21st. My Compassionate Winston-Salem (CWS) group served a wonderful meal during this period to the residents of the Bethesda Center, an overnight shelter for the homeless.What was really interesting … [Read more...]

On Disagreements and Discrimination

Streets signs at the intersection between Church St. and State St.

[Author’s Note: This post deals with currently controversial intersections between religion and politics.  I share it with you all not to create disagreement or strife, but because I think it’s important to cogently work through these situations together and because I think they’re illustrative of a deeper issue within the American public square.]In interfaith, it’s all too easy to see another’s point of view during a conversation.  I don’t have to agree with a dialog partner, but I can usual … [Read more...]

Diversity – A Lot of Work


Oops - I’m chairing the nominating committee for Interfaith Partners of S.C. for the next four weeks, leading up to when we must present a slate at our November 4 annual meeting. It’s just work that must be done in any organization, but each small part of the process takes on deeper, more tender, meaning when it involves multiple religions, cultures, ethnicities, genders, etc.Natural tensions exist, of course, between most religions and individuals:Vague (or acute) awareness of painful hi … [Read more...]