Hometown Pilgrimage – 2015

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

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...]

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...]

Hatred is the Poison of the Soul

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   “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 … [Read more...]

People Like Me

"We know we all believe in the same god."I sighed as a couple of friends around the table caught my eye with a knowing look. The new people at last week’s interfaith meeting were introducing themselves, and their use of this tired, inaccurate aphorism was, no doubt, their way of stating that they were in harmony with all the others present. As often as I refer to plural “gods” or say out loud that we are not all the same, I have come to accept that most people cannot hear that message. They d … [Read more...]

A 2000-Year Journey in Interfaith

Pennsic

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...]

Sensitivity How-To’s

(Here is a handout I wrote for our S.C. folks to use.  It's been very handy.  Please feel free to copy and use it yourself.)Religious and Cultural Sensitivity Demonstrating appropriate sensitivity for cultures different from our own is arguably the topic which creates the most anxiety in those new to interfaith dialog. In the past, we have simply avoided discussions which might bring up uncomfortable differences, hoping to prevent possible misunderstandings. And yet, it is these very di … [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...]


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