Interfaith dialogue and seeking peace

Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders met mid-September in Assisi to discuss peace, while across the ocean in New York City global political leaders assembled at the United Nations also focused on a troubled world.

And in Tacoma, Temple Beth El hosted the first meeting of a monthly Interfaith scripture study with St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Bethany Presbyterian Church and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by the Narrows to consider biblical texts and the theme “Choosing and Living With Leaders.”

Uniting people of faith is an act of peace-making.

Pope Francis, at the closing ceremony of the World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi said, “Our religious traditions are diverse. But our differences are not the cause of conflict and provocation, or a cold distance between us…Peace means cooperation, a concrete and active exchange with another, who is a gift and not a problem, a brother or sister with whom to build a better world.”

Our community is fortunate to have many opportunities for ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, especially as congregations grapple with how to bring peace and life to a discouraged people. Some ideas:

  1. The 6th Annual Lutheran Studies Conference will take place at PLU on Thursday, September 29th.  The theme is “Free At Last: Perspectives on Racial Justice”. 
  2. Participate in your own congregation’s ecumenical, interfaith, and peace-making activities.
  3. Join the Interfaith Scripture Study Group. The next gathering will take place at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church by the Narrows on October 13.
  4. Join the workshop “People of Faith, Now What?” at Trinity Presbyterian on October 27 to find ways to deal with racism in our daily lives, from a Christian perspective.
  5. Attend the Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Gathering on November 22 at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
  6. Save the date for the inaugural Interfaith Women’s Conference on March 4th.
  7. Participate in the Interfaith Observance of the National Day of Prayer on May 4th
  8. Watch Associated Ministries calendar for upcoming events all around our community or share an event yourself on the AM calendar (click here to post event).

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew said peace “needs a few cornerstones to uphold it even when it is endangered. There can be no peace without mutual respect and acknowledgment…There can be no peace without justice; there can be no peace without fruitful cooperation among all the peoples in the world.”

Let’s join together as friends this year, united in mutual respect and an eagerness to discover the rich faith traditions and perspectives our community holds.

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