Interfaith

Enhancing Campus Interfaith Initiatives after BILI

June 8, 2021

Before the Boston Interfaith Leadership Initiative (BILI), I thought I had a good grasp as to how to facilitate interfaith dialogue and collaboration. This was mainly due to my role as an Interfaith Associate for Northeastern’s Center for Spirituality, Dialogue and Service (CSDS), helping plan interfaith dialogues and service events. While my role at CSDS is spiritually rewarding in the context of interfaith programming, BILI has given me a new lens on interfaith event planning, as well as techniques and methods to improve upon my interfaith leadership within and outside of CSDS.

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Senate Passes Bill To Protect Religious Expression For Student Athletes

June 11, 2021

A bill to protect a student's religious expression during school sporting events is on its way to the House after getting unanimous support in the Senate.

Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) says she introduced the bill, SB181, after learning about Noor Abukaram, who was disqualified from a cross country meet in 2019 for wearing a hijab running for Sylvania Northview High School.

Gavarone, while urging support for the bill, commended Abukaram on the Senate floor. 

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Spirituality underpins migrant activism in US borderlands

June 8, 2021

Alvaro Enciso plants three or four crosses each week in Arizona's desert borderlands, amid the yellow-blossomed prickly pear and whip-like ocotillo, in honor of migrants who died on the northbound trek.

Each colorful wooden memorial denotes where a set of bones or a decomposing body was found. Over eight years, the artist has marked more than 1,000 locations across public lands dotted with empty black plastic water jugs and camouflage backpacks beneath circling turkey vultures.

“Anything out here can kill you," Enciso said. "A blister, a snake, not enough water.”...

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Faith leaders concerned about Southern California temporary shelters for migrant children

April 30, 2021

LOS ANGELES (RNS) — Faith leaders say they are concerned about new temporary shelters that have been set up at Southern California event centers to house unaccompanied migrant children.

As of Tuesday (April 26), more than 300 children were being housed in an emergency shelter at the Long Beach Convention Center in Los Angeles County. This site is expected to eventually accommodate up to 1,000 kids, according to the Long Beach Post News.

Advocacy groups have been awaiting the arrival of more than 2,000 migrant children at the Fairplex, the former fairgrounds in the L...

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Health experts, faith leaders and White House target the ‘movable’ on vaccines

May 27, 2021

(RNS) — Use your church van to deliver community members who need transportation to a COVID-19 vaccination site.

Canvass the neighborhood near your house of worship to encourage those who have not yet received a shot.

Tell people you’re vaccinated, and if you had to recover a bit from the second shot, share that too.

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Hundreds Run And Walk In Quincy To Stop The Stigma

May 16, 2021

QUINCY, Mass. (May 10, 2021) – Interfaith Social Services’ recent Stop the Stigma Virtual 5K raised a record-breaking $77,000 last month, with more than 400 participants walking and running to support those affected by mental illness and addiction. The annual race brings awareness to social stigmas and breaks down financial barriers surrounding mental health care. Proceeds benefit the New Directions Counseling Center at Interfaith.

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Interfaith efforts strained by Israeli-Palestinian violence

May 14, 2021

The escalation of violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is dismaying American Muslims and Jews who’ve been working to build bridges between their communities and are now struggling to quell fear and anger in their own circles.

“We’re heartbroken,” said Muslim attorney Atiya Aftab, the New Jersey-based co-founder of a major interfaith group, the Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom. She added that the situation threatens to derail the group’s work.

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Across faiths, US volunteers mobilize for India crisis

May 11, 2021

Volunteers at Hindu temples, Muslim groups and Sikh relief organizations across the United States are mobilizing to support India as the world’s second most populous country struggles to handle a devastating surge of the coronavirus.

From coast to coast, faith groups tied to the Indian diaspora have collected hundreds of oxygen concentrators and electrical transformers to ship to overwhelmed hospitals, raised millions for everything from food to firewood for funeral pyres and gathered in prayer for spiritual support for the Asian nation.

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Hospital chaplains embrace new role during the pandemic: caring for caregivers

March 23, 2021

Before entering the room of a COVID-19 patient, the Rev. Peggy Kelley dons personal protective gear — both physical and spiritual.

She pulls on a sterile gown and places a face shield over her mask. She pumps Purell into her gloved hands and holds them over her chest, checking in with her heart. With a few deep breaths, the hospital chaplain at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center sends some words heavenward:

“God, be with me. Walk with me in...

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Pittsburgh religious leaders offer prayers, comfort and encouragement during COVID memorial service

March 19, 2021

Out of grief and sheer frustration due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Rev. Karie Charlton of Third Presbyterian Church in Shadyside admitted that she cried herself to sleep at several points throughout the past year.

In sharing her story of grief and vulnerability, Rev. Charlton said she hopes others may feel inspired to make themselves vulnerable to their loved ones as well during such a difficult time.

Source:...

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Chaplains and the rise of on-demand spiritual support

March 9, 2021

Mourning a death. Coping with grief. Healing the heartsick and soothing the sufferers. For much of human history, people addressed loss and trauma through rituals drawn from faith traditions, performed in spaces we called sacred — churches, temples, shrines, mosques — and led by ministers and rabbis, imams and priests. But in New England, where the influence of Puritan piety has yielded to unceremonious secularism, something more malleable is emerging. To meet spiritual needs when and where they arise, we’re turning to chaplains, people trained to work outside the structure of religious...

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