Interfaith

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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‘Muslims in my house’: A tribute to a beloved centenarian

January 8, 2020

In 2002, our 4-year-old, 50-student school was homeless. We had been renting rooms in an office building in Herndon, Virginia, and our lease was up. I had started the school with my teacher friend and fellow parent Pervin Divleli to be a place where we could be creative and innovative in our teaching while building an environment in which our students could seamlessly be both American and Muslim.

Waiting lists were long, and we were adding a grade a year with what we called an “organic” expansion plan. With renovations planned in the building, however, our preschool-through-...

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‘Seeing our common humanity’: New Yorkers march against anti-Semitism

January 7, 2020

Aaron Steinberg is standing in the middle of Manhattan’s Foley Square, holding up a handmade sign that, for him, most clearly states the fundamental reason he and his family have come to stand shoulder to shoulder with around 25,000 others this Sunday morning.

“All humans were made in the image of God,” his sign’s taped-on words proclaim, a reference to the first chapter of Bereshit, or Genesis, in the first book of the Torah, which expresses both a bedrock theological principle in his faith as well as a basis for his civic ideals.

Source: ...

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‘Prayer Over the City’ to include 17 churches, faith groups coming together to usher in new year

December 27, 2019
Fifteen years ago a small group of local faith leaders and others gathered at Pioneer Park overlooking St. George on New Year’s Day. They offered short prayers and thoughts for blessings of hope and unity for the community, which has since become an annual tradition held at the St. George Tabernacle. The annual “Prayer Over the City” event returns to the St. George Tabernacle to open a new decade with a diverse mix of faith leaders from Christian, nondenominational and other faith groups offering thoughts and prayers focused on various aspects of the community. Source: ... Read more about ‘Prayer Over the City’ to include 17 churches, faith groups coming together to usher in new year

Living on a prayer: Boulder County Jail accommodates spectrum of worship

December 23, 2019
Joe Herzanek, a chaplain for the Boulder County Jail, starts his day like many in the working world: checking his messages. Only for Herzanek, these come in the form of written inmate requests called a kite, seeking religious materials and spiritual guidance — from Buddhist prayer beads, rosary, to a copy of the Mormon Bible or a prayer rug. “Some days I’m like the Maytag repair man, looking for something to do,” Herzanek said. “Other days, I have 25 kites.” Source: Living on a... Read more about Living on a prayer: Boulder County Jail accommodates spectrum of worship

Christian and Jewish congregations share seasonal holiday customs

December 23, 2019
The pews of Calvary Episcopal Church in Shadyside were filled on Sunday morning for one event that happens every year, to be followed by one it had never hosted before. The usual: Since it was the fourth Sunday of Advent, the one closest to Christmas, the church hosted its annual pageant in the historic Gothic sanctuary, where children who were dressed as Mary, Joseph, shepherds, angels and wise men re-enacted the story of the birth of Jesus — along with live sheep, a docile donkey and a reluctant camel. Source: ... Read more about Christian and Jewish congregations share seasonal holiday customs

December Dilemma: Advice for interfaith families celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah

December 20, 2019
Seattle’s Jennifer Stock grew up celebrating Christmas. “Christmas for me was fun, it was important, there were lots of rituals involved.” But when she married a Jewish man 30 years ago, holidays got complicated. “Growing up and ever since, Christmas was the very worst time of the year,” said her husband, Sidney Stock. Sidney was born in 1935, in the midst of the Hitler regime, and when he was four years old his father told him to keep his Judaism a secret. He says the strong Christmas presence in America has always made him feel isolated and lonely. Source: ... Read more about December Dilemma: Advice for interfaith families celebrating Christmas and Hanukkah

Faith-based Groups Spearhead Community Solar Projects

December 16, 2019
Minnesota winters are long, brutal and gray. Minneapolis resident Keith Dent has endured 38 of them. But over the last several years, he's experienced what he calls a "reintroduction to the sun." In 2017, Dent helped install, and later subscribed to a massive community solar garden mounted atop Shiloh Temple — a majority black church in north Minneapolis. Today, the 630-panel array provides Shiloh itself, the nearby Masjid An-Nur Mosque and 29 local households with green energy. Source: ... Read more about Faith-based Groups Spearhead Community Solar Projects

As Americans become less religious, the role of chaplains may grow

December 6, 2019
The Rev. Donna Mote regularly accompanies military personnel escorting the caskets of fallen service members through Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, where she serves as a chaplain at the busiest airport in the world. Mote is the first person to greet the escorts once they step off the plane. She stands shoulder to shoulder with them while Delta Honor Guard members march with flags of the five military branches. She stays with them through their layover at the airport. She’s there for support. In many cases, the escorts are grieving because they knew the deceased.... Read more about As Americans become less religious, the role of chaplains may grow

Faith leaders join about 200 people to mark burial of unclaimed dead in Los Angeles County

December 5, 2019
Rain drops fell on a muddy cemetery field. Burning sage mixed with the humid air. About 200 people huddled under four canopies, while others carried umbrellas or braved the downpour in jackets. A Native American group blessed the sacred ground. Then a Hebrew song rang out. A Christian hymn followed, then a Zen Buddhist chant, and a Tongva song and blessing. These disparate groups, holding various beliefs, came to a Los Angeles County cemetery in East L.A. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, to honor the lives of those who have been forgotten — to let them, for at least one day, be remembered. Source:... Read more about Faith leaders join about 200 people to mark burial of unclaimed dead in Los Angeles County

One week after Fresno is rocked by a mass shooting, faith communities unite in prayer

November 25, 2019
A week after a mass shooting devastated the city of Fresno, a gathering of all faiths happened at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno. More than a dozen different religious backgrounds took part in this annual Thanksgiving prayer service. The service has been organized by the Interfaith Alliance of Central California for at least five years. The organization’s co-chairs say it’s all about building relations no matter your religious beliefs. Source: ... Read more about One week after Fresno is rocked by a mass shooting, faith communities unite in prayer

Trinity Episcopal holds Native American worship service

November 22, 2019
On Sunday in commemoration of Native American Heritage Month, Trinity Episcopal Church of Redlands held its 11th annual Native American Worship Service. As the program stated, the unique service was designed to “reflect the respectful integration of elements of Native American culture and tradition within the context of the Episcopal Church's liturgy.” The service was well attended; colorful in both flavor and proceedings. Source: ... Read more about Trinity Episcopal holds Native American worship service

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