Growing the Interfaith Garden

redbuds

It is April now and here in the South that means that spring is all around us.  The redbuds and dogwoods are in bloom and the trees in the woods behind my house are covered in a pale green lace of tiny leaves.  As the earth has warmed I have been drawn more and more to get my fingers in the dirt.  I’ve been cleaning out the detritus of fall leaves, pruning the rose bushes, and planting new flowers and herbs for the coming season.  It is a fitting reminder that the promise of life renewed … [Read more...]

What is a Sacred Place?

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  And just what is a sacred place? What do you see when you hear those words? Standing stones raised by ancient peoples upon a windy plain? Dark caverns where the ancient Mother was first honored? Towering pyramids? Ruined temples to forgotten deities? Perhaps you think of the dim vastness of a famous cathedral, candles flickering in front of the Torah, or images of the pilgrimage to Mecca. Or maybe the sacred is a small church on a village green, or the many-pillared splendor of a … [Read more...]

Interfaith and the U.S. Armed Forces

Dr. Carl Evans of IPSC and Chaplain Mike Lembke, Dir. of the Center for World Religions

The military as an example of daily interfaith relations? Never having been a soldier, it had not occurred to me, but that’s one of the things I heard at a remarkable meeting this week at the U.S. Armed Forces Chaplains School and Center, here in Columbia, S.C., at Fort Jackson. The Chaplains School was hosting the annual meeting of Interfaith Partners of S.C., and “host” would be an understatement for the outstanding experience they provided. From the time I parked my car across the … [Read more...]

Oak Creek Anniversary

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Monday is the one-year anniversary of the shooting at the Oak Creek Sikh gurdwara in Wisconsin.  I was contacted for comment this morning by a reporter from our local news station.  Valarie Kaur, a Sikh activist and founder of Groundswell, notes that a full year later, everyone knows about Aurora and other tragedies, but most never understood what happened at Oak Creek and have already forgotten.  The anniversary is a good reminder to those of us in another misunderstood minority religion of … [Read more...]