Interfaith as a Pagan: an Intermission

I hope that you're enjoying my series discussing my interfaith experiences as a Pagan.  If you're new to the series, you can read parts one and two.  Part three was scheduled for this week, but unfortunately my day job has handed me four projects to be completed by March 15, 27, 30, and April 2nd.  This, of course, happened on Monday.  My expectation of free evening times now thoroughly crushed, I'll return with part three of my series in two weeks after I apply some better time management to my … [Read more...]

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Interfaith is a Two-way Street

This really happened to my friend. From Shutterstock

Safaa told us that, in her native language, she could tell us so much more about what Women of Faith means to her, but what she does say is perfectly clear. "This group is my life." Members of our local Islamic Center continue to be threatened, but when she's with us, she feels safe. We are safety. She tells us about the death threats and that it doesn't make any sense to her because she's been here since 1982. Her children were born and raised here. This is her home. Understandably, she's … [Read more...]

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Interfaith as a Pagan: Un-quo the Status

Still Image from The Craft Columbia Pictures, 1996

In my last post, I introduced a series on my experiences as an Interfaith Pagan.  Today, that series continues.Let's be honest with each other for a moment:  we've all probably seen it.  I know Pagans who weren't even born in 1996 who've still seen The Craft.  I remember watching it on premium cable while I was in high school and I'm not ashamed to admit ... okay maybe I'm a little ashamed to admit ... that I own it on VHS, DVD, and I have the soundtrack.But, in case you're unfamiliar (an … [Read more...]

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To Those Who Say Interfaith is a Waste of Time

When I hear many people talk about “interfaith” work it seems that their understanding of the topic is confined to the idea that it involves trying to teach each other about our different religious beliefs in hopes that we can convince each other that we aren’t strange and scary. It is this limited understanding which, I believe, leads to the sort of comments I frequently hear from Pagans and others that interfaith work is a waste of time and effort since we will never change peoples’ opinions o … [Read more...]

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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

IMG_20150112_105240_744

(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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