Here I Stand!

Zena

I think most of us start out in our interfaith work with the expectation that our work will proceed smoothly and that we will find tolerance and acceptance in our relations with those of other faiths.  And for the most part that is probably the case.  At least those with whom we work are willing to respect those of other faiths than their own, and even offer their cooperation and support in projects that are aimed at improving their communities. But sometimes our best intentions go awry and we f … [Read more...]

One River, Many Wells

fountains

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...]

A Call to Activism

Skelligs - 2009

On the 8th of May we mark the 69th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany to the Allied Forces. The horror and the tragedy of the rise of the Nazi party and the Nazi ideology in Germany is that so much of what happened might have been preventable if people had been willing to stand up and say “This is wrong!” when it was first noticed that the powers that be were imprisoning, killing, and discriminating against their own citizens. The Holocaust did not happen overnight, it happened in a ser … [Read more...]

Speaking for Others: Part Two

Used via creative commons license.

In Part One of this series, I talked about the difficulties and dilemmas in being asked to talk about a tradition or faith that is not your own.  This week in Part Two, I'd like to offer some suggestions to those who find themselves in this situation.I must imagine that the monists or soft polytheists who attend interfaith events and work with those of other faiths want to accurately convey the great diversity within Paganism.  I don't believe that anyone is out there honestly trying to m … [Read more...]

Speaking for Others: Part One

Used via Creative Commons license

In the recent discussions that have gone on in the Pagan community about 'Wiccanate privilege', a large number have mentioned interfaith gatherings.  Some have asked for more Heathens and devotional polytheists to come to the table, and others have expressed frustration that their views are being misrepresented by Pagans who tend towards a duotheistic or monist worldview.  Now, this brings us to an interesting question - is it okay to talk about the beliefs of others (even if they fall under y … [Read more...]

Down South Diversity

alg-tenn-mosque-jpg

The other day, I read a "you know you're a New Yorker/ Californian/Midwesterner/Southerner when..." post in my G+ stream that consisted primarily of mildly to moderately negative stereotypes. Needless to say, this is not a form of "humor" I enjoy. Not only do Southerners rarely have names like "Jim Bob" and "Billy Sue," but there is also a high degree of variation in dialect rather than a single "Southern" mode of speech. And I'm going to need y'uns to spell "y'all" correctly if you're going to … [Read more...]

Who Are We Kidding?

Interfaith2

All right, I admit it.  I am off on a bit of a rant this week.  At the moment I am feeling more than a bit frustrated.  Many of us are active in community interfaith work because we sincerely believe that it is important that we open honest discussions with people of other spiritual practices because understanding and openness can and will lead to better communities.  Since moving here to Huntsville, my husband and I have been active with both the Interfaith Mission Service and more recently wit … [Read more...]

Religious Diversity Leadership Workshop 2014

a building at Hartford Seminary on a blue background

Last June, I had the privilege and the honor to attend the Religious Diversity Leadership Workshop at Hartford Seminary.  During the week long intensive program, I sat with around 30 individuals from a variety of faiths as we learned about each other and our communities, studied cases dealing with interfaith leadership, and in some moments simply discussed matters of the day as it pertains to religious and non-religious interaction.It was a wonderful experience which I wrote more about … [Read more...]


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