New address: 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409.
In "A Chorus of Faiths," a Tapestry of Faith program
Say, in your own words:
The covenant is what makes free religious communities possible. It is not a rule that is enforced by a church hierarchy; rather it is an explicit expression of the relationship among the members of the congregation, with a mission and vision which transcend the congregation.
Write suggestions on the additional newsprint.
One of the gifts that we, as Unitarian Universalists, bring to interfaith work is the experience in our own congregations of working together toward a shared goal without necessarily a shared theology. We are able to do this in our congregations because we are in covenantal relationship with one another.
The word "covenant" has an explicit religious meaning for Unitarian Universalists and other religions that are congregational in governance. A covenant is an explicit promise we make to one another to be in community together with integrity and with a commitment to the spirit of love or to our shared understanding of the Divine. It allows us to set aside our differences of belief to work for the common good. It helps create an environment of trust and good will.
In our upcoming interfaith service project, we want to use some of the elements found in our covenants to develop interpersonal guidelines in order to create a safe space for interfaith work.
We have also learned a little about what we do and do not know about other faiths, and we have been exposed to the potential problem of cultural misappropriation. As interfaith leaders, how will you help to create a safe space that is sensitive to differences while still making room for meaningful work and discussion?
Write participants' contributions on newsprint.
If these points do not arise from the group, suggest:
Invite the group to plan a discussion about creating safe space during the next meeting with partners.
If the brainstorming exercise is too abstract, use examples of working with members of specific faiths (e.g. Muslim, Jewish, Catholic). Draw out the special considerations which might be involved when working with people of each faith.
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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.
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