Tag: interfaith

Meet David Alger

Editorial Note: The article below was written by an Associated MinistriesNext Move intern in conjunction with two other Next Move interns. Associated Ministries was pleased to host three students from the Tacoma Public Schools. This students added to our agency with their new ideas, creativity and passion. The interns, Amaya Fox, Ella Banken and Tyreke Wilbanks were an integral part of helping write stories, research historic documents and add to our photo library to help us tell the story of Associated Ministries. Their final project, which was conducted as a joint interview, was with long-time Executive Director, Reverend David Alger. We hope you enjoy their work!

Reverend David Alger Interview by Amaya Fox

Reverend Dave Alger is a man who needs no introduction around Tacoma and Pierce County. As the former Executive Director of Associated Ministries for nearly thirty years, Alger has created a lasting impact on not only Associated Ministries, but also on the Tacoma community.

In his time as Executive Director, Alger was instrumental in the founding and development of many programs that sought to build a better Tacoma such as the Pierce County AIDS Foundation, the Moments of Blessing services, interfaith meetings, and the Hilltop Action Coalition.

Alger and interns 2I, along with fellow interns Ella Banken and Tyreke Wilbanks, was lucky enough to sit down with Rev. Alger for an hour and talk to him about his time as Executive Director and how AM was vital in the development of Tacoma, specifically the Hilltop community.

We discussed the idea of interfaith and the true meaning behind it, as it has been, and still is, such a prominent aspect of what is done at AM. In Alger’s perspective, the essential things necessary to effectively become an interfaith organization are “time, energy, and a willingness to accept the validity of other groups.” He goes on to say how, especially as Executive Director, he had to learn how to “roll with various religious customs and deal with the radical differences.” To him, interfaith means nothing without “honest, trusting relationships,” which is exactly what he strove to create in his time as Executive Director.

The Moments of Blessing are another effective service brought to Tacoma by Alger. He originally got the idea from a similar movement happening in Indianapolis and took it into his own hands; crafting it into a moving and spiritually uplifting program. In short, a Moment of Blessing is a service designed to reclaim a space where a homicide has occurred. It has become one of AM’s most effective and well-known programs to date. Alger strived to “work to involve people and show people how to be involved,” with such a rare opportunity to touch people’s hearts. “They are very, very moving and powerful times of healing.”

To begin getting involved in the Hilltop community, Alger made the decision to relocate AM right into the middle of Hilltop, in a time where gang violence was no stranger to the community. The move in his eyes “was a statement that we were committed to the city” and the building of a safer Tacoma, although the move initially did raise many safety concerns. This controversial decision was one of many that paid off immensely for AM and Hilltop, bringing the two together in a way that could not have been done otherwise.

Reverend Dave Alger, I’ve learned, is one of those people whom you could just sit down with for as little as ten minutes and think to yourself, “wow, I should be doing more to help the community.” He is an inspiration to many and a motivator for all. He encompasses the mission behind AM and all that it stands for in a way that no other person quite has, and for that Tacoma and Pierce County are forever thankful.  

Interfaith Iftar Dinner – Celebrating Ramadan Together!

You are cordially invited to the Interfaith Ramadan Iftar Dinner on Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 at 8pm at the University of Puget Sound Tahoma Room in Thomas Hall

Featuring: The Art of Living Together: Building Relationships
Keynote Speech: Dr. Etga Ugur
School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences, University of Washington Tacoma

Free admission, just RSVP at seattle@pacificainstitute.org 

Event held by Associated Ministries, University of Puget Sound & the Pacifica Institute

Iftar

Interfaith Dialogue on Peace Building

The Tacoma Buddhist Temple, in partnership with Associated Ministries, will host an interfaith dialogue on peace building on June 11, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. This is a free public event and is open to all members of the Tacoma community. It is hoped that this event will help people of faith in Tacoma think about what they can do to contribute to peace here, and in the wider world.

Panelists include Joshua Christy (Baha’i Faith Tacoma), Reverend Joseph Hickey-Tiernan (Church of the Holy Spirit, Vashon Island), Professor Turan Kayaoglu (University of Washington-Tacoma), and Reverend Kojo Kakihara (Tacoma Buddhist Temple). The event will be moderated by Dr. Amanda Feller, a professor of communication at Pacific Lutheran University who specializes in dialog and conflict resolution.

Asked why he wanted to hold this event at his temple, Reverend Kakihara explains, “Depending on how we use it, religion can become a barrier that separates us from others, but I believe that religion enables us to accept different people, as well as bring happiness and peace to their and our lives. I hope that through this event we are all able to deepen our understanding of our own religions and the religions of others in order to sense the interconnectedness of life.”

Dr. Erik Hammerstrom, another of the event’s organizers, says, “There is a tendency to over-emphasize religion’s role in conflict in the world. While conflict is certainly one part of the history of religion, it is also important for religious people to affirm and uplift the many contributions that religion has made, and can continue to make, to building peace at the local and global levels.” Hammerstrom is a professor of religion at Pacific Lutheran University and a member of the Tacoma Buddhist Temple’s Buddhist Education Committee.  To learn more about the Tacoma Buddhist Temple, visit their website at http://www.tacomabt.org/.

 

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