Journey to Ithaca: Remembering Dr. Hal French

HalFrench

“When you start on your journey to Ithaca, then pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge.” (from “Ithaca” by Constantine Cavafy)On Wednesday I attended the funeral of my venerable friend, Dr. Hal French, along with 400 or more others.  The ceremony was grand, loving, thought-provoking and tender, with three lovely hymns, three eulogies and a magnificent organ-recital piece at the close. The line to greet family stretched through and in and out of several buildings; wai … [Read more...]

A pagan visit to a Hindu Ashram Community

Last weekend I went up to the Virginia mountains to become certified as a Laughing Yoga Leader.I am now trained in laughing exercises to use as a means to help people re-learn to laugh. :-) More on that in another post.  My focus for this blog is the center of which the two-day laughing yoga class was held: Yogaville, and the resulting observation that can only be heard from a neutral Pagan.Tell me, what does that word, Yogaville bring to mind for you?  Lots of people doing yoga? Healthy … [Read more...]

Separation of religion and medicine?

Religion in the sick room

 Last Friday I was sitting at the local urgent care type facility, waiting for the doc to come back with confirmation that my partner had the flu. I had finished catching up on all my emails (thanks to technology and a really smart phone). I immediately became bored (I try to not play games on my phone), and began perusing the sick room we were in. My girl was on the bed cot sleeping while we waited, and having looked through the many pamphlets on the wall, I turned to look at the … [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 street I … [Read more...]

Community Pilgrimage – Sharing Our Faiths

Pilgrimage

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...]

Religious Leadership Diversity Workshop at Hartford Seminary: a Review

David Dashifen Kees and two other participants at the religious leadership diversity workshop 2013

As I mentioned briefly in my prior post, I spent the week of June 8 through June 14 at Hartford Seminary attending the Religious Leadership Diversity Workshop.  The workshop has been running for a few years, and the seminary works to bring together people of various faiths to try and create an experience for attendees that both allows for the sharing of personal stories and points of view and helps to educate them on various faiths and faith practices as well as multifaith chaplaincy, conflict … [Read more...]

Of Turbans and Tribes

Willsmudging

Zinging around the Pagan blogosphere these days I find an extraordinary amount of navel-gazing going on. Are we polytheist or monotheist or agnostic? Are we a community? Do we have a theology and if so, what is it? Who are our elders and who should listen to them? Is belief naive? Is practice incomplete without belief? How do we define ourselves, or is that even necessary?Last weekend’s Gathering of Faiths interfaith festival in Columbia (SC) offered a refreshing perspective for the several d … [Read more...]


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