Opportunities & Resources
“Faiths Coming Together Through Awareness, Compassion, and Justice”
Edmonton, Canada, to Host Parliament Event, May 1-4, 2014
“Faiths Coming Together” is a four-day conference scheduled by Parliament of the World’s Religions Partner City, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, for May 1-4. It will provide an opportunity for local interfaith groups from western Canada and the western United States to come together to share experiences of what it means to be an open and accepting community of people who encourage and support the work of faith in the world.
The program will include two keynote presentations, a series of workshops, panels and film presentations, as well as opportunities to share personal experiences in the world of interfaith dialogue and programming. It begins Thursday evening, May 1, at 7:00 p.m. and concludes Saturday evening. On Sunday morning, an optional interfaith service will take place followed by lunch and a display celebrating our different faiths.
Rob Hankinson, current chair of the North American Interfaith Network, will be directing the project on behalf of Edmonton’s Interfaith Committee for a Parliament of the World’s Religions and the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education and Action. You can reach Rob here. For a “Faith Coming Together” brochure, go here.
What Has Interfaith Engagement Meant to You?
Vanderbilt Surveying North American Grassroots Interfaith Activists
If you participate in an interfaith group in North America, your input is sought in a survey. A study group at Vanderbilt University is researching grassroots interfaith organizations and would love to have your input. (There are plans to expand the study in its next phase to go beyond North America.)
Mark McCormick, a Ph.D. candidate who helped inspire the project, writes, “This research project started as the seed of an idea back in 2010, during the protests against the new Islamic Center in our own backyard in Murfreesboro, TN. Several of us at Vanderbilt have over time become personally involved in the interfaith efforts that have cropped up in MiddleTennessee in response to this controversy, and it struck us that this would also be a very important (and understudied, empirically) topic for research.”
Five interfaith groups in the south have been the subject of case studies, and to this will be added what the research team finds out from this survey. TIO will report on the results next year.
Click here to go to the survey. Vanderbilt scholars thank you!
Interreligious Ecology Resource
Multifaith Green Rule Poster & Study Guide Now Available
Greening Sacred Spaces is a Canadian interfaith organization that supports houses of worship of various religions in efforts to “green” their buildings. Their Green Rule Poster features sacred texts from 14 religious traditions – they are presented against the visual backdrop of “the tree of life.”
This poster is complemented by a useful 20-page study guide. The guide is an imaginative, practical tool to teach youth and adult members of your faith community and school system about the sacredness of creation in your own faith tradition while reflecting on the ecological texts of other religions.
You can order your poster here.
State of Formation Sponsors Workshop at AAR
“Writing for the Online Public Sphere”
State of Formation (SoF) is pleased to announce it will host a workshop for current and emerging religious and ethical leaders on the subject “Writing for the Online Public Sphere.” SoF is a project of CIRCLE at Andover Newton Theological School and Hebrew College. It is an online forum for emerging religious and ethical leaders. The workshop will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting (November 23-26) of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature.
The workshop will feature Rev. Paul Raushenbush, Senior Religion Editor for the Huffington Post, Rabbi Or Rose, Dr. Jennifer Peace, top Contributing Scholars from SoF. Also help leading the workshop are Stephanie Varnon-Hughes (Founding Editor-in-Chief of the Journal for Inter-Religious Dialogue) and Benjamin Barer (Editor at Large) and Honna Eichler (Managing Director) of SoF.
If you are committed to interreligious understanding and in making your voice heard in a virtual public square with over 150,000 annual readers, join us for this interactive workshop. Both current and prospective Contributing Scholars are welcome to attend. For additional information regarding this workshop contact Dr. Jennifer Peace (firstname.lastname@example.org), Honna Eichler (email@example.com), or Benjamin Barer (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Alchemy: Occupy Your Sacred Self
November 7-10, 2013 in San Francisco
We invite you to a dynamic intergenerational experience
of the creative power of feminine spiritual community.
Claim your authentic voice as we explore and deepen the narrative of women’s stories …Illuminate together emerging patterns of leadership, spirituality, faith and feminism … Nurture yourself with engaging experiences of ceremony, music, art, movement, ritual and spiritual practice … Reconnect with your spiritual roots and your call to sacred service … Discover new tools for facing both challenges and opportunities as you bring your spiritual leadership to the world… Build your tribe in this community of diverse women who share your passions … Experience a new way of doing things in a collaborative environment of mutual support, shared leadership, curiosity and interdependence … Weave together where grace meets power.
Alchemy offers bargain registration fees, deeply discounted hotel rates and free airport transportation!
Our design for Alchemy grows from a profound belief that every woman in the room is a leader, a source of wisdom and a valuable resource for transforming our world. We will have no keynote speakers or panels of experts at Alchemy; you ARE the experts, leaders and visionaries. We have built the entire gathering around a series of circle dialogues that will invite, harvest and illuminate the wisdom of every woman through a spiraling sequence of:
- sharing stories
- integrating through shared experiences (music, dance, movement, ritual, art, etc.)
- illuminating the emerging pattern
- standing together at the place of what’s next
Go here for registration and more information.
Free to Download
On Common Ground: World Religions in America
Diana Eck, founder of the Pluralism Project, wrote this letter last month:
Greetings from the Pluralism Project! I am delighted to share with you the launch of an online and updated version of On Common Ground: World Religions in America. You can view the press release on our website.
For fifteen years, the CD-ROM version of On Common Ground (Columbia University Press) has been a go-to resource on religious diversity in America for teachers, professors, students, clergy, community leaders, and media professionals. Over the years, many of you have expressed your hope for an online version of this wonderful resource. We’ve echoed your excitement and are pleased that this new version of On Common Ground is now online and available free of charge.
In the new online version, the time-tested educational structure of the On Common Ground CD-ROM is replicated and enhanced. We have:
- added new sections on Humanism and Unitarian Universalism to America’s Many Religions and developed new content on the experiences of Muslims and Sikhs post-9/11;
- expanded America’s Changing Religious Landscape by including interactive maps of religious diversity in select cities across the U.S. which incorporate both census data and information from the Pluralism Project Directory of Religious Centers (a database that now includes well over 10,000 entries);
- explored new versions of old challenges by integrating new materials and weblinks into Encountering Religious Diversity, further building on a rich cache of historical examples, documents, news stories, and videos that highlight the many ways in which Americans experience our new multireligious reality.
The Pluralism Project is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. which was a major funder of the original On Common Ground CD-ROM as well as the new version On Common Ground Online. This project would not have been possible without the enthusiasm and dedication of generations of Pluralism Project affiliates, researchers, staff, students, and the communities we both study and seek to serve. Thank you.
We look forward to hearing your responses to OCG!
With all best wishes,
Progressive Theologian Reaches Out to New Pope
Letters to Pope Francis by Matthew Fox
Pope Francis, with a warm heart and iconoclastic attitudes, has caught the attention of the world. Each day new stories emerge, and everyone (talking) seems to approve. A biography is out, along with plenty of pundit opinions.
Now comes a set of heartfelt letters to Fr. Fox’s “brother in Christ about the great challenges facing the church today, drawing from the deep spiritual and theological sources that have been suppressed since Vatican.” The book urges Francis “to restore the sense of the faithful and reshape a church with justice and compassion.”
Matthew Fox has long been persona non grata at the Vatican. Could that change? This book makes you think it could. It is available at Amazon.
New Curricula for Jewish-Christian Congregations
Walking God's Paths: Christians and Jews in Candid Conversation
This new set of videotapes and a study guide allow participants to experience each tradition’s understanding of how it walks God’s path and how the two faith communities can relate to one another in positive ways.
Written by Philip Cunningham, John Michalczyt, and Gibert Rosenthal. Produced by the Center for Christian-Jewish Learning at Boston College on behalf and with the oversight of the National Council of Synagogues and the Bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, it is now made available online through special arrangement with the Council of Centers on Jewish-Christian Relations. See here for details.
United Religions Initiative Invites Your Stories and Video
URI “Talking Back to Hate” Campaign Launched
In August 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.
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:
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