Serving as One…Faith Traditions Aside

Serving as One…Faith Traditions Aside
By Sandy Windley

Walking alongside the most vulnerable people in our community should not be discriminatory based on their faith.  Sister Lucy Kurien lives by this rule every day, helping raise up the most marginalized people in her communities of India.  Sr. Lucy shared her story this week at Catherine Place here in Tacoma, sharing how to approach service to others with an interfaith heart.

Sr. Lucy, a Catholic nun, shared “The more I love Christ, the more I accept people.  I don’t have to give up Christ to embrace interfaith.”  The Maher Ashram, founded and run by Sr. Lucy, provides a home for abused, traumatized and homeless women and children irrespective of their faith tradition.  In the Maher (meaning “mother’s home”) ashram, all traditions are accepted and celebrated:  spirited and decorated at Christmas, iftar dinners to honor Muslims through Ramadan, Hindu decorating and celebration of various Hindu gods, such as Ganesh Chaturthi.  Daily mediation and prayer time encourages individuals to seek the Divine in the way that is right for them.  Through their experience at Maher, people gain respect and love for one another, coming together to lift each other up and heal together.

As I listened to Sr. Lucy speak, my thoughts turned to our work here at Associated Ministries.  Our mission “uniting people of faith to build stronger communities” is similar to Sr. Lucy’s approach.  People of faith…all faiths…coming together to provide service in our communities, lifting up the most vulnerable and those in need.  Every day, Associated Ministries seeks to support individuals and families experiencing homelessness, walking alongside them no matter what their faith, religion or belief.  And as Associated Ministries works to continue interfaith dialogues and gatherings, we aim to have all faiths walk arm in arm to build stronger communities.

There is a lot of work to do, but as Sr. Lucy reminded us, “If you have love in your heart, you can do anything.”  Seek the love in your heart and see where it takes you!

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