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

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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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Hometown Pilgrimage – 2014

Every year the Interfaith Mission Service (IMS) here in Huntsville sponsors a Hometown Pilgrimage with the express purpose of celebrating and embracing the religious diversity of the City of Huntsville. This year's Hometown Pilgrimage is co-sponsored by the University of Alabama-Huntsville Office of Diversity and the City of Huntsville's Office of Multicultural Affairs. The Hometown Pilgrimage began on 2 September 2014 and runs until 2 November. This year the Pilgrimage has included a number of … [Read more...]

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What We All Want

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The light bulb came on for me this week.It was a big interfaith week for me here in South Carolina.  Last Sunday Interfaith Partners held our annual meeting, at which I gave a very brief report on something Cherry Hill Seminary students are doing.  Then Thursday I traveled to Aiken to meet with a fledgling group there.  Yesterday I popped by the big dedication festivities for a new Hindu (BAPS) temple in my own neighborhood.I love this stuff, love the people I meet, love the friends I’ve … [Read more...]

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What’s Compassion Got to Do With It?

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In a few hours I'll be on a panel for the annual meeting of Interfaith Partners of S.C.  Each faith represented is supposed to share what they have been up to in terms of expressing compassion.  For months I have wondered how to approach this task.  The following are the remarks I will make when it's my turn; I'd love to hear your responses, or even suggestions for the future.For followers of one of the earth-based spiritual paths which are collectively referred to as Paganism, articulating a … [Read more...]

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Talking Our Way to Understanding

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The living room dialogue went swimmingly.  We started by going around the circle, first person sharing with the person to their left something about their religion that they think is different from everyone else, second person reflecting back what they heard the first person say.  Then the second person turned to the third person in the circle, and so forth.  No big surprises or problems here.Then I asked the group to think about the people who do not understand their religion, perhaps even f … [Read more...]

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