Inter-Faith activities:

arthra

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I was curious in knowing what the experience has been for other members of this forum in the area of Inter-Faith activities....

I've been a representative of my local Baha'i community on the Inter-faith Council where I live and recently became Chairman. This involves some responsibilities I didn't have before as simply a representative.

The Council where i live is fairly representative of the larger Christian denominations but not so much the evangelical independent Christian churches. We do have Conservative Jewish and Moslem representatives and occasional visits from Hindus on our Council...

But I'm curious to know what others are experiencing in their communities on Inter-Faith Councils and compare some notes!

- Art ;)
 
Hi Art,

I agree that interfaith activities are important for bringing peace. Peace and compassion start at home and in our local communities, towns, cities. We need to work, play and worship together, at least momentarily forgetting the things that separate us.

I used to particpate in an interfaith group that had money to give small grants locally (it was a small town), as well organize various interfaith activities such as a Thanksgiving prayer service. The prayer service was cool. Representatives from various Christian denominations (Catholic, Quaker, Christian Science, Baptist, (which I guess may be considered evangelical, but perhaps it varies locally?), various other Protestant denominations, Jewish Synagogues, Buddhists (there was a local monastary), Islam and Baha'i. They also sponsered a CROP Walk, which is a fundraiser for relief for world hunger and a Martin Luther King celebration weekend (a march from the AME Zion church to the Methodist church, followed by breakfast, poetry contests, talks, other fun activities). It was a small town but it had many race-related problems, so this was an important event.

I've moved and now have small children, but I nominally belong to an interfaith organization in my new area. They sponser dialogs and lectures, as well as support various tangible projects around the city. I can't be as involved as I would like, but once the kids are in school I hope to do more.

The church I belong to now is pretty liberal. One study group will be visitng a local mosque this month and I hope that I can go too.

In the meantime I also participate in a bible study that, while interdenominational, leans largely toward a conservative evangelical interpretation of the bible. I find myself often being rather quiet out of respect for different interpretations. But i also see that even though I may have a different interpretation of a particular bible passage, the result on our lives is similar: we are uplifted, encourged, and strengthened in faith. Our differences are not really that important if we don't let them be.
 
Luna moth....

Thanks for your note!

and I liked your comment:

"Our differences are not really that important if we
don't let them be."

It sounds as though even with your pre-school children you are still pretty active in your community and that's very commendable.

I also liked hearing how your Martin Luther King Day event was organized...

We have our MLK Day at the University where there's a march as well and usually appropriate speakers... This year it is hoped we can have an event that is more based in the local community but so far not much has progressed along those lines.

Having a University in the community is I think an asset but it also can create an impression of ambivalence as the University and the community don't identify too much with each other...so you have a population at the University that is transient and represents an elite as far as opportunity and financial class are concerned...so there appears to be a gap separating them from the larger community.

The Inter-Faith Council where i live is composed of similar churches to your community. There is a gap though between the independent evangelical churches i think and the older, mainline Protestant Churches. So although there has been an occasional evangelical that attended our meetings we don't have their churches officially represented.

Recently I met with a clergyman representing the neighboring city's "clergy association" and there may be some activities we can have together. Tehy also have mainline protestant churches with Moslem and a Reformed Jewish congregation.

- Art
 
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