Interfaith as a Pagan: an Introduction

a Venn diagram showing intersections between circles labeld with a Christian cross, a Jewish start, and the Islamic crescent

A lot of interfaith events are structured like the image to the right.  Their goal is to find points of intersection, i.e. common ground, between the world's largest monotheistic faiths.  Let me be clear:  such an event is 100% interfaith and the world would stand to benefit from more dialog between Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.Here's a question, though:  what are the top five world religious in terms of population?If your guess was (essentially) Christianity, Judaism, and Islam plus … [Read more...]

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Interfaith Harmony Month Notes

PanelHolliAmarjitsmaller

This is the busiest time of the year for Interfaith Partners of South Carolina.  The governor made her proclamation for the third year in a row naming January S.C. Interfaith Harmony Month.  Then the first full week of February is World Interfaith Harmony Week, a project of the United Nations.  Here in S.C., we have a busy calendar of all kinds of events.  I have attended sabbath prayers at a synagogue, been present for Muslim prayers, participated in a multifaith panel held in the gallery of an … [Read more...]

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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...]

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Out of the Dark

Chapel-Iona-2009

"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...]

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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...]

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Making Peace in 2015

GatheringofFaiths2013 218

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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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