Interfaith

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

Celebrating religious and cultural holidays at work, inclusively

November 21, 2019
Every late October/early November, my family celebrated Diwali. My mom would draw rangoli patterns on our front steps and light little candles with cotton wicks all over the house. We had friends over, played three-card poker and ate rice, dhal, paneer and alu with cucumber raita and mango chutney. Christmas is when I get time off, but I don’t overlook Eid, Hanukkah, Nowruz, Juneteenth and the Lunar New Year. I follow the simple rule that just because it’s not a paid holiday, doesn’t mean it’s not worth celebrating. I mentioned this to someone once and got a puzzled look, “Why? You’re in... Read more about Celebrating religious and cultural holidays at work, inclusively

Habitat for Humanity brings faiths together to build home for Louisville family

November 18, 2019
Habitat for Humanity partnered with volunteers from three faith traditions to help build a home in their Interfaith Build on Sunday morning.
A group of volunteers from Middletown Christian Church, Temple Shalom, and Al Noor Mosque worked together to build a new house for a family originally from Sudan who moved to the United States three years ago.
Source: ... Read more about Habitat for Humanity brings faiths together to build home for Louisville family

A Changing Religious Landscape

The religious landscape of America is changing. In the past fifty years, new immigrants have arrived from all over the world seeking political freedom and economic prosperity. They have come with their cultural and religious traditions, their Qur’ans and Bhagavad Gitas, their rituals, prayers,  and forms of mediation, their songs, dances, and arts. They have put down roots in American soil and created community centers and sacred spaces.

At first, many of the changes in America’s religious landscape were relatively invisible. There was no new architecture to catch the eye...

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Selected Resources

National and International Initiatives

Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (Founded 1988) – Chicago, IL

The first World’s Congress of Religions convened in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago and is often cited as the “birth of formal interreligious dialogue.” In 1988 the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions was founded to organize a centennial celebration of that historic gathering....

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