If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice, have recognition for difference without attaching difference to privilege. — bell hooks, author, feminist, and social activist
Today's workshop focuses on what interfaith work can look like. Participants learn about the 1965 march at Selma—a high-profile, interfaith event that engaged Unitarian Universalists with other faiths and had a major impact on United States history—and explore stories of interfaith cooperation from around the world. The workshop suggests that Unitarian Universalists, unattached to a creed, have a natural role in interfaith work, since we tend to be open to many different beliefs.
The central activity in this workshop is a guest panel of people in your congregation who do interfaith work in the community. You will need to invite guests ahead of time. Read Activity 3, Unitarian Universalists Doing Interfaith Work, and Alternate Activity 1, Unitarian Universalists Partnering in Interfaith Work, and choose one. The Alternate Activity could provide a richer experience, but requires more preparation.
Pay particular attention to Activity 1, Planning the Interfaith Service Event, Part 3. The work the group does during this activity will depend on the interfaith service project the group has chosen, the partners you have begun to work with, and plans already underway. In the best of all worlds, the Chorus of Faiths group will have opportunities to meet, plan, and share responsibilities with youth and adult leaders of your partner organizations. In reality, the planning activities described in this and other workshops may or may not fit your group's event plan or dovetail with where you are in the process. Use the planning activities, and the Before You Start section in the program Introduction, as guides.
This workshop will:
- Demonstrate different ways Unitarian Universalists can do interfaith work
- Show how interfaith work is an especially effective way of building the beloved community
- Present the way that interfaith work can lead to a deeper understanding of one's own faith
- Offer stories of interfaith cooperation in American history, world history, and the local community
- Guide the group to plan the interfaith service event.
- Learn about the Unitarian Universalist participation in the march at Selma
- Understand the history of interfaith cooperation in the world and come up with ideas for emulating it
- Learn about interfaith work Unitarian Universalists do in their local community
- Discover how interfaith work can deepen faith identity
- Move the group's interfaith service project forward by planning the next action steps.