All people and cultures without exception hold myths to be true. Anyone who believes that other—s—less sophisticated—may naively hold myths to be true while they themselves do not, are themselves naive. — Alice Blair Wesley, Unitarian Universalist minister
Interfaith service work is not easy. Interfaith interaction can be challenging and requires us to honestly assess our fears and to keep our humility about our own beliefs and world view. Unitarian Universalists are not immune to fear or arrogance in the face of the "other." This workshop provides space to discuss apprehensions regarding interfaith work and gives participants tools—storytelling skills, for one—to deal with difficulties and awkward moments that can arise in even a great interfaith program.
This workshop will:
- Identify difficulties that can arise in interfaith work and explore a variety of tactics for dealing with them
- Show that truth claims supported by reason and science need not compete with truths based in faith
- Demonstrate that working toward pluralism can be disconcerting and difficult, yet valuable.
- Prepare to handle challenges and disappointments in doing interfaith service work, with an understanding that it is both possible and valuable to work with others whose beliefs seem "wrong" to us
- Learn to recognize and avoid making value judgments about other's beliefs, through exploring how describing another's belief as a "myth" is a value judgment
- Tell stories about their own lives and commitments, including "my interfaith story"
- Review (from Workshop 1) three components of a religiously pluralistic community: respect for religious identity, mutually inspiring relationships, and common action for the common good.