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...]

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...]

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...]


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