Posted in Current events & community, Future/stability/security, global, Women

Wonderful interfaith event

20180419_140242.jpg

I am grateful I had the privilege of being on the planning committee for this wonderful interfaith event. This was the 38th Annual Women’s Interfaith Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

A beautiful group of women have been planning these wonderful conferences each year since the early 80’s. There is a new topic each year. The theme this year was “Holy Days – What, When, How”.

I loved learning about the diverse faith practices of each of the faith traditions represented. From Ramadan to Rosh Hashanah, Easter to Buddha’s Birthday, we had the opportunity to learn about each these diverse holy days and what they mean to these women of faith.

My favorite portion were these final questions: what do the holy days mean to you, what language do you pray in, and how can we carry the peace-building message of interfaith to the world.

There was such an atmosphere of peace, respect, and inclusion in the room. The qualities of kindness, thoughtfulness, and love were truly uplifting.

It is affirming to see what is possible in the example this diverse group of women sitting in the same room, listening to one another, and sharing their stories. It inspires hope!

Advertisements
Posted in Current events & community, Love/relationships

Dialogue brings healing

The world is full of people hungering to be heard and understood.

It seeks communication that builds bridges, strives to understand, perceives the heart of the matter, focuses on reconciliation, unites and loves more.

I’m so grateful for the opportunity to be involved in interfaith work this year. This helpful document (see below), created by Mark Gerzon and Rachel Kessler, highlights the distinct roles of dialogue and debate in discourse.

Have you ever debated with someone — like a family member, colleague, or even in comments on a blog post — when you really meant to be in dialogue with them? I have.

Sometimes I ended up trying to “win” a conversation, when what I really wanted was a conscientious conversation that healed the heart and respectfully acknowledged all sides of an issue.

Sometimes I get swept up in debate when I know dialogue will really help find solutions and bring healing.

We constantly need to be reminded of communication skills necessary for fostering respectful discussions of ideas.

We share something in common with everyone even though we are unique. We are blessed by getting to know one another and engaging in constructive dialogue.

Posted in Current events & community, Love/relationships

Living in harmony

Respecting differences is a key to living in harmony.

Although there is a lot of polarization in the USA, and other parts of the world, I believe each citizen is capable of living in harmony. Citizens are capable of listening to one another and respecting differences.  This is natural to us. It is normal to love and accept those who are different from us as well as cherishing the similarities we have with friends, neighbors and our faith communities.

When a good idea comes, we can give credence to it willingly and impartially, without holding a bias about who the idea may be coming from. We don’t have to conform to not listening or accepting good ideas that come from “the other side” either politically, in community or in church groups. 

Love listens. Love stands in awe of beauty. Love accepts without judgement. Love simply loves.

Love doesn’t condemn or squash or belittle the value of anyone else.

Love looks for the best in others.

Holding to my own opinions should never outshine my capacity to love and listen.

Diversity is beautiful. We can have harmony and unity in our diversity.

Happy Independence Day

We should remember that the world is wide; that there are a thousand million different human wills, opinions, ambitions, tastes, and loves; that each person has a different history, constitution, culture, character, from all the rest; that human life is the work, the play, the ceaseless action and reaction upon each other of these different atoms. Then, we should go forth into life with the smallest expectations, but with the largest patience; with a keen relish for and appreciation of everything beautiful, great, and good, but with a temper so genial that the friction of the world shall not wear upon our sensibilities*…

*Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings, p. 224:11-21