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...]

Hatred is the Poison of the Soul

“Let there be peace on Earth, and let it begin with me.” By Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller, 1955This month I find myself trapped between the events of 9/11 and a Samhain that seems more and more filled with the angry voices of both the living and the dead. Perhaps that is why Mabon with its call for balance and for letting go of that which is not helpful seemed especially poignant. There is so much hatred and fear in the world and it seeps into our souls like some slow and insidious poi … [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...]

A 2000-Year Journey in Interfaith

I have just returned from my annual vacation in Pennsylvania where my husband and I attend Pennsic War, the world’s largest medieval re-enactment event. This year nearly 11,000 of us who are fascinated by the Middle Ages camped together at Cooper’s Lake enjoying two weeks of friendship and learning in the hills of Western Pennsylvania. During that time we took classes on medieval arts and skills, fought mock battles, danced, sang the hours away, renewed friendships and made new friends. All of th … [Read more...]

Here I Stand!

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...]

A Call to Activism

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...]

Religious Shop Talk

Formal Language in Ritual

Social media is such a wondrous tool.  I graduated from an Evangelical Lutheran high school, and so I still have a number of very conservative Christians on my friend's list.  This past week, I was able to have a discussion with a friend I haven't seen in years, who is a student of theology and is heavily active in his church (a non-denominational, but strongly Evangelical organization).  He posted a question about the use of language in prayer - specifically, why many Christians use antiquated w … [Read more...]


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