United Religions Initiative Invites Your Stories and Video
URI “Talking Back to Hate” Campaign Launched
Earlier this month United Religions Initiative (URI) launched its “Talking Back to Hate” campaign. Those who visit its website are invited to sign a pledge, make a commitment to work against hate, and to add your stories and videos to those which are already posted on the site. The video on the right is a contribution by high-school student Ayluonne Pereszkiewicz.
The purpose of the campaign is clear: As people of many cultures, faiths and backgrounds, we’re committing today to take specific steps to address hate and discrimination in our communities, and to work for a world< where every person, regardless of their ethnicity, race, religion, culture, gender, orientation or ability, is treated with respect and is safe to be themselves. We call upon our political and community leaders to make new efforts to secure and defend these fundamental human rights for all people, and to speak out together against acts of hate, discrimination and bullying.
Those who take the pledge can download a variety of resources including a “Talking Back to Hate” toolkit that can help you and your community participate and keep up with the campaign.
Start Your Own Faith Journey Campaign
ravelUnravel Goes National
Project Interfaith’s ravelUnravel program in Omaha, Nebraska, has more than 900 short faith statements from people representing the full diversity of religious traditions. It is going national now, and you are being invited to participate by starting your own video campaign, adding faith statements from you and your community. Just go the website and follow the directions.
Magnificent Interactive Exhibit Now Online
Compelling New Exhibit: Portraits in Faith – Photographs and Stories
For almost nine years, Daniel Epstein, a Marketing Director at Procter & Gamble, has been travelling the world for business and for faith. Motivated by his own search to fill the “God-sized hole” in his life, he felt that if he did not develop some type of spiritual faith he would die. Born and raised a Jew, Daniel’s challenges with relationships, work and “life” forced him at age 36 to get on his knees and pray to a God he did not know, a higher power not specific to either his own Judaism or any religion, and ask for help. In order to keep his new found sense of [Shekh Abdul Aziz Bukhari in Portraits of Faith] faith alive and to gain from the experience of others, Daniel created a spiritual exercise out of interviewing people around the world about the role of faith in their lives. As a photographer, Daniel also captured a moment with each person in a black and white portrait meant to evoke their true spirit.
What emerged is “Portraits in Faith,” the world’s most extensive oral history/testimony project conducted by one person on the subject of faith. Daniel has interviewed and made portraits of 400 people from 27 countries representing well over 50 religions, denominations and spiritual followings.
Read the rest of this story, by Frank Fredericks, in Huffington Post, where a number of the photos help tell the story. Or go straight to Portraits In Faith and listen to the stories of those in the photographs.
Early-bird NAIN Connect Registration Deadline Extended to June 15
Registration Open for NAIN Connect 2013, August 11-14
Multifaith Centre, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
“In Diversity is Our Strength” in Toronto.
The link here takes you to the University of Toronto site to register.
This promises to be a milestone event in a very diverse city
that plays a major role in the interfaith movement.
Save money by registering now!
Early Bird Before June 15
After registering you will be sent housing options, including on-campus rooms for $38 per person, per night.
Sacred Texts and Human Contexts:
A Symposium on the Role of the Sacred Texts of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in Uniting and Dividing Humanity
June 23-25 2013 – Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies and Dialogue, Nazareth College, Rochester, NY
At a time of division and hostility, do Jews, Christians, and Muslims interpret their religious traditions – in particular, their sacred texts – in ways that intensify or reduce hostility and division? This symposium will bring together scholars to explore this question.
We encourage papers and panels that deal with the general theme of the symposium – the role of sacred texts in uniting and dividing people. This general theme may be subdivided into these three questions:
- What features of these sacred texts and their interpretations divide or unite humanity?
- What social, political, national, tribal, economic, and colonial contexts have affected the hermeneutics and rhetoric associated with these texts? Might levels of literacy, conceptions of gender roles, and notions of sexuality play a part?
- What elements of these interpretations nourished times when Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived as good neighbors or provided a context for conflict resolution? How might those times suggest models for the future? For example, do the texts have interpretations that nourish the current interfaith movement?
Our discussion in a follow-up conference in Turkey in the summer of 2014, with the generous support of the Peace Islands Institute. Check here for details.
Re-encountering the Earth
Sustainability and the Sacred
Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts – Summer Program, July 14-20
Sustainability and the Sacred, July 14-20, 2013, is an opportunity to discover and deepen transformational spiritual and physical practices to develop personal and collective human relationship with the earth in this time of ecological disruption. The Hampshire College-affiliated summer program runs this July 14-20, 2013 on the college campus.
The program is open to all who are interested exploring ancient and modern insights for honoring and living with the Earth, reflecting on and developing a relationship with the Earth, discovering and deepening transformational spiritual/life practices, developing activism rooted in awareness, spirituality, and community, and responding wisely to the challenges of climate change and other ecological disruption.
The program includes mindfulness meditation and other spiritual practices, hands-on activities to care for the Earth, educational workshops, and opportunities to interact with spiritual and environmental leaders from different traditions and approaches. Check here for details and registration information.
History of the Golden Rule Free to Download
Excerpted from Ethics and the Golden Rule by Harry Gensler S.J.
This history chronicles the history of the Golden Rule from ancient to modern times. Essentially, the paper charts the ethical history of humanity through the lens of the Golden Rule. This chronology is an ideal teaching tool with the capacity to reach a multitude of diverse audiences. It also has interfaith content.
Download your free copy here.
Learning to Bring Interfaith Leadership Back Home
IFYC Announces 2013-14 Interfaith Leadership Institute Sites and Schedule
The Interfaith Youth Core has announced its 2013-14 schedule of Interfaith Leadership Institutes, a highly regarded program which equips undergraduate students, staff, and faculty with the skills to engage diverse religious and non-religious identities to build the interfaith movement on their campuses.
At Interfaith Leadership Institutes…
Students train to be interfaith leaders who build relationships across identities, tell powerful stories to bridge divides, and mobilize their campuses through interfaith projects.
Staff and faculty network with other higher education professionals, share best practices, and partner with their students to transform their campuses.
All participants learn how the Better Together campaign and the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge can be catalysts for campus change.
Upcoming Institute Schedule:
Chicago: June 21-23, 2013
NYC: August 11-13, 2013
Atlanta: January 31, 2014 - February 2, 2014
- Los Angeles: February 15-17, 2014
Questions? Email email@example.com.
Fifty Years of Interfaith Activism
Download Braybrooke’s Personal Account of the Interfaith Movement
Widening Vision: the World Congress of Faiths and the Growing Interfaith Movement by Marcus Braybrooke is now available for downloading. Marcus, a TIO Correspondent, is known as the historian of the interfaith movement. In this new book, he is as much a participant as an observer. He joined the World Congress of Faiths in 1964 and serves as its president today.
From this vantage point, he has been engaged for nearly 50 years in the burgeoning interfaith movement. In Widening Vision he shares his first-hand account of working with the Temple of Understanding, Religions for Peace, the Parliament of the World’s Religions, the North American Interfaith Network, and United Religions Initiative. The book concludes with his vision of a peaceful interfaith future.
Widening Vision is available as an e-book from Kindle at Amazon.
See the Winning Photographs
2012 Pluralism Project Photo Contest Winners
In the fall of 2012, the Pluralism Project announced its second annual Photography Contest to document the vibrancy of religious diversity in the United States. TheProject received excellent photos from across the country featuring religious practices and rituals; participation of religious groups in American civic life; interfaith encounter and social action; and women’s leadership and participation in communities of faith. The photos in this slideshow feature the 2012 Pluralism Project Photography Contest winners…
Multifaith Golden Rule Movie Now Available Free Online
Animating the Golden Rule
Toronto’s Scarboro Missions movie, Animating the Golden Rule, is now available free of charge on the Internet. The DVD features students in three Toronto high schools embodying golden rule values by way of skits, artwork, interviews, music, dance & rap. The film eloquently demonstrates how character education can be engendered in young people using play, creativity and the arts. This movie is very useful for teachers and youth leaders because of its themes of youth, global citizenship, multiculturalism, ethics, diversity and the arts.
To view the film, in four sections, click here