This is Real Interfaith

...but this is for me.

I must admit that I really like talking about Paganisms and I find other religions interesting, even if they're quite different from my own. This month's meeting was essentially a trad-share. It's been a while since we did something like that, so we went around and shared our practices and beliefs and answered questions. Our speakers included one of the ladies Muslim Tasneem, Quaker Bonnie, Agnostic Sara, a Baha'i Marilyn, and me. Even though we've been together as a group for several years, I l … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

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...]

Bringing Them All Back Home

In 2012 the suicide rate among combat veterans reached an all-time high with some 22 veterans dying by their own hand every single day. Deaths to suicide among these veterans were actually higher than combat-related deaths that year in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite efforts by the Veteran’s Administration and other agencies, suicide deaths among combat veterans continues to be a major problem with approximately one veteran suicide every hour. This rate is twice that of those who never served … [Read more...]

One River, Many Wells

In my work as a hospital chaplain I never know from day to day what I may be called upon to work with as I step into a patient’s room.  Huntsville, Alabama is a religiously diverse community which includes Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Christians of many denominations, Pagans, Baha'i and others.  While most of my patient encounters to date have been with Christian families, I have also been called upon to act as chaplain in grief work with other faiths as well.  Such encounters demand that … [Read more...]

Growing the Interfaith Garden

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 has been … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X