Interfaith

Stay-at-home faith. There’s a podcast for that.

March 27, 2020

While the doors at many houses of worship are closed to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, there are still ways to access spirituality online. Houston is home to a number of locally made podcasts, dedicated to exploring faith. These digital audio files can be downloaded and listened to whenever and wherever is convenient.

Interfaith Podcast Project

If Houston could tell its story, it would include a tale of diverse religions thriving in one city. That’s a challenge “Interfaith Podcast Project” accepted — exploring different faith traditions in a way that...

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South Salt Lake Interfaith Council is bringing unity to its community

March 10, 2020

 

When the South Salt Lake Interfaith Council was established two years ago, its primary objective was to help residents, especially refugees and immigrants, to feel welcome and safe. 

“The goal was for residents to feel a sense of belonging,” said Lauren Levorsen, who serves as the council’s co-chairwoman.

The council felt progress toward this goal was achieved last week through a musical and cultural celebration that drew more than 250 people — much more than anticipated and standing room only, according the...

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Pittsburgh tragedy helped build deep interfaith cooperation

February 28, 2020

“The Quran tells us red and yellow are the most distracting colors, the ones that should not ever be used for a prayer rug,” the imam tells us, looking down at the red and yellow rug beneath our feet in the mosque. He adds, “It was a donation, there was nothing I could do about the improper coloring.”

“Why don’t people know what the Quran has to say about these things?” my teenage daughter asks.

“Well,” he explains, “there is a lot to know: 6,000 sutras, 20,000 hadiths and 100,000 stories about the life of Muhammad.”

My...

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Solidarity over segregation: Faith-based coalitions organize across races, religions

February 24, 2020

Rachel Prestipino knows how segregated Miami can be every day, including Sunday: “It’s not just at 11 a.m.”

But one thing all groups in Miami share, said Prestipino, lead organizer for a local faith-based organization called People Acting for Community Together, is an interest in solving local problems. “That desire, for whatever reason, goes across all these lines of difference, whether that’s faith background or race.”

PACT has helped Christians, Jews and Muslims in her community overcome their...

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Stresses multiply for many US clergy: 'We need help too'

February 19, 2020

Greg Laurie is among America’s most successful clergymen -- senior pastor at a California megachurch, prolific author, host of a global radio program. Yet after a youthful colleague’s suicide, his view of his vocation is unsparing. 

“Pastors are people, just like everyone else,” Laurie said by email. “We are broken people who live in a broken world. Sometimes, we need help too.” 

Laurie’s 15,000-member Harvest Christian Fellowship, based in Riverside, California, was jolted in September by the death of Jarrid Wilson, a 30-year-old associate pastor. Wilson...

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Rabbis’ perspectives vary when it comes to co-officiating at interfaith funerals

February 14, 2020

With the rise of interfaith marriage, it is no surprise that families are seeking ways to meld the traditions of various faiths. From weddings performed jointly by clergy representing different religions, to the December holiday mashup “Christmakkah,” cultures and customs are being blended in ways unimaginable a century ago.

Interfaith funerals, co-officiated by a rabbi and a non-Jewish clergy member, while not yet ubiquitous, now can also be added to that canon. 

Rabbi Chuck Diamond, spiritual leader of Pittsburgh’s Kehillah La La, recently co-officiated a...

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More US firms are boosting faith-based support for employees

February 14, 2020

It has become standard practice for U.S. corporations to assure employees of support regardless of their race, gender or sexual orientation. There’s now an intensifying push to ensure that companies are similarly supportive and inclusive when it comes to employees’ religious beliefs.

One barometer: More than 20% of the Fortune 100 have established faith-based employee resource groups, according to an AP examination and there’s a high-powered conference taking place this week in Washington aimed at expanding those ranks.

“Corporate America is at a tipping point...

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Teen MOSAIC Program Teaches Cultural, Religious Acceptance

January 28, 2020

Each year, when a new group of teens gathers to participate in the year- long inter faith education, volunteerism and leadership program sponsored by Garden State MOSAIC, facilitators guide them in a simple, ice-breaking exercise designed to demonstrate how much they have in common.

The teens, who represent many faiths and cultures, are invited to assemble into groups based on such simple preferences as whether they like vanilla ice cream or chocolate; comedies or action films; swimming or track.

As the teens...

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Evanston organizations aid homeless during winter nights

January 15, 2020

For Evanstonians experiencing homelessness, the winter months are especially dangerous. At least 18 people in Cook County have suffered cold-related deaths since November, and homeless people risk frostbite and injury from the months of November to March, Interfaith Action director Sue Murphy said.

While the number of homeless people in Evanston is difficult to quantify, local nonprofit social service providers estimate that about 10 percent of Evanston’s population — roughly 7,500 people — are either homeless or at risk of becoming so.

Source: ...

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Faithful friendships: Study examines interfaith connections

January 14, 2020

In a diverse world, research shows that interfaith friendships have the capacity to encourage understanding and tolerance.

A recent report from the Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey highlights the importance of college friendships across religious lines. IDEALS was founded by Matthew Mayhew, an Ohio State professor of educational administration, and Alyssa Rockenbach of North Carolina State University to figure out how to encourage diverse interactions among college students, according to Interfaith Youth...

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