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January 2014

Responding to the Rise of the Far Right

European Elections Cause for Concern

All People Are Chosen, All Lands Are Holy

Instead of Splitting the World in Two

Spiritually Literate New Year’s Resolutions

Guidelines for a New Year

Ministry to End Violence to Children Keeps Growing

REPORT: Sixth Day of Prayer on Universal Children’s Day Celebrated

When a King and a Pope Sit Down to Talk Religion…

Celebrate World Interfaith Harmony Week – February 1-7

The Struggle for Interfaith Funding, and Interfaith Career Opportunities

An Interview with Diana Eck – Part 3

A Different Approach to Deity

Neopagan, Indigenous, and Earth-based Spiritual Practice

Visiting the New Jerusalem at Burning Man

One of the Largest Religious Rituals in the Western World

The Art of Spiritual Living Never Looked So Inviting

Skylight Paths Spirituality Series a Treasure House

Public Prayer

Practical advice for those afflicted with peculiarities in this area

“How Do Hinduism and Buddhism Influence Me as a Rabbi?”

Finding Common Ground

Gurus, Seekers, and Being Accountable

Can You Trust Your Guru?

Light in the Night Sky

The community I serve, West Hill United Church in the east end of Toronto, is always evolving. The most recent physical change entailed reclaiming the space previously dedicated to my office to turn it into a multipurpose meeting room. I work mostly from home, and the office had become a repository of old files and artifacts collected over my years in ministry. Making the change was clearly a wise choice.

Love in a Time of War

Here in the mountains of northern New Mexico where I have spent most of life, the winter solstice season is marked by fire. During Advent, families and businesses fill small paper bags with dirt and nestle yellow votive candles inside them. They line the adobe walls around their homes and the low hanging flat rooftops of their shops with these homemade lanterns, called farolitos, and kindle them at sunset. The entire valley glows with tiny golden lights. What began as a Spanish Catholic tradition is now a cherished ritual for our entire multicultural community.

How a Catholic Kid in Kentucky Became a San Francisco Swami

Looking back now, I guess my life is another testimony to “Ask and ye shall receive.” I was serious about religion as a child and, in one way or another, was always trying to find the truth and do the right thing. It was questioning and seeking that gradually led me step by step to become a sannyasi, or monk, in the tradition of Yoga.

Confronting ‘the Other’ in Your Own Community

Interfaith dialogue between people of widely divergent faiths is challenging enough, but the tougher assignment is encountering a member of your own religion with whom you profoundly disagree. When that happens, knowing you share a common faith and tradition offers little if your vastly divergent beliefs appear irreconcilable. Perhaps you are secretly wondering if both of you are from the same planet. That is the precise moment – if you have experience as an interfaith activist – that you will want to apply the wisdom you have learned from encounters with people of other religions to deal with the real and present differences of someone from your own faith.

Double-Edged Daggers

This essay is based on an excerpt from the author’s journal when she was sixteen years old.

Youth Redefining Interfaith Activism Globally

I’ve never found an easy way to explain how an evangelical Christian from rural America came to found an interfaith youth organization with chapters across the world. It began in the summer of 2006.

When Wiccans & Evangelical Christians Become Friends

For more than 26 years I’ve been doing interfaith work on behalf of Neopagan Witchcraft (often called “Wicca” or “the Craft”). In 1985 I was elected National Public Information Officer for the Covenant of the Goddess (www.cog.org). The job entailed serving as a liaison between CoG and the media, law enforcement, the government, and the interfaith community. I attended my first meeting of the Berkeley Area Interfaith Council, one of the oldest, most diverse interfaith groups in the country, and gradually found myself hooked on interfaith work. Terming out as Public Information Officer, the Covenant created the appointed position of National Interfaith Representative. That has been my role ever since.

The $100,000 Question in the Interfaith Movement

How do we know when we have arrived in the interfaith movement?  When religious pluralism is normative?  When religious differences don’t cause conflict or even concern?