Cracking Wise About Trees

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Red-Tail Hawk in a Tree Doing interfaith work really never ceases to amaze me--and my recent experience was no exception. Here's what happened at the panel discussion I wrote about in my last post. To recap--I was contacted by a colleague in a neighboring county who was putting together an interfaith panel to discuss spirituality and the environment. I checked my calendar and agreed it was possible.  The date changed due to Ramadan but the new date worked for me, too. If you live in a small … [Read more...]

Default Settings

I've written about this before and will, no doubt, write about it again. There are often default settings in the interfaith world that require patience and open-mindedness to reset. Years ago I was part of a group talking about "sabbath" and there was a sense that everyone has one and that it was a "day of rest" in which one communed with the Divine.  Many of us, though, have sabbaths/holy days and they are not in the least restful. They are loud and raucous and celebratory and we are exhausted … [Read more...]

Laying on of Hands

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A couple of weeks ago, I was pleased and quite honored to be part of the ordination to the Episcopal priesthood of my friend Milly. It was at the Cathedral of All Souls which is, oddly enough, one of my church homes. The home of my heart (and blood, sweat and tears) is Mother Grove Goddess Temple. But All Souls and the UU Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley are also home to me. We have different ways of working and different ways of visioning the Divines (well, maybe we do) but we are all … [Read more...]

What Does Interfaith Mean?

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 Since last we met, my little corner of Interfaithland has been a patchwork quilt of emotions and events. I’ll start with the surprising death of one of my local interfaith colleagues. His name is Ahmad Amara and he came to our town in his retirement and it was his quiet voice that brought me to the place I stand regarding Palestine.He was my first Muslim friend and his stories of growing up in Jaffa were sweet and heartbreaking. Ahmad died an old man so he remembered playing w … [Read more...]

Approaching the Season of Balance

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With Imbolc and a polar vortex behind us, we are entering the early planting season here in the southern highlands of Appalachia. As we approach the Vernal Equinox--the quaint season of balance--I am acutely aware of the precarious balance in the human world, even as the natural world turns in its Wheel toward the start of the agricultural year.As happens a couple of times a year, this cool UU church in a neighboring town has asked me to do the service for them around the Equinox. My title … [Read more...]

We Are All Travellers Along Life’s Tricksy Ways

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 This season of ice and rime, of greeting cards and indoor trees--it can be the hardest of seasons in our multi-faith world. In this country, the season is dominated by the curious and often-repellent observation of Christmas. We have been celebrating it in the wider culture since October and it will not end until the last discount store has rid its shelves of marshmallows shaped like snowfolk and plastic tablecloths sporting imitation patchwork in red and white and green.In my … [Read more...]

We Don’t Have a Golden Rule…and yet…

Years ago, when I was in a Cooperation Circle of the United Religions Initiative, there was an interfaith-y poster of how religions across the spectrum of spirituality had their own version of The Golden Rule--Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done Unto You. There were very similar mottos from lots of different creeds but my spiritual tradition doesn't have a thing like that, not really. We harken back to the ancient laws of hospitality and that could sort of pass.But not really.We spend … [Read more...]

Blessings on the New House

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 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...]


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