Finding common ground in our spiritual journeys through interfaith relationship-building is a powerful way to connect in the age of social distancing. Here are four ways to quickly start interfaith relationships that can make a difference for us all:
Learn as much as you can about faith traditions around the world.
Exploring similaries and what makes each religion unique will not only inform how other topics in the world relate to each other (as FGC Friend Sarah Haber will tell you), it will also help you begin to build bridges by dropping the harmful "us vs. them" mentality. "Love thy neighbor" is expressed and experienced across many faiths (and by people who are Atheist or Agnostic). QuakerBooks of FGC has a great selection of resources to broaden your multi-faith education. Our Bookstor Manager Audrey Greenhall suggests titles like:
- Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others
- The Book of Joy
- Not in God's Name: Confronting Religious Violence
- Holistic Islam: Sufism, Transformation, and the Needs of Our Time
- Palestine and Israel: A Personal Encounter
- Citing Atheists: Quotes of Agnosticism, Non-Theism, Skepticism, Irreligion, Free Thought, and Philosophy
Connect with organizations and committees that are engaged in creating interfaith connections.
The Christian Interfaith Relations Committee (CIRC) at FGC, the National Council of Churches, and Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) help build a greater understanding across traditions and foster dialogue. FCNL's Thursdays with Friends virtual event series has been particularly effective in starting conversations and bringing the faithful together.
Host a virtual conversation that engages members of the various houses of worship in your area.
Now is the perfect time to greet our spiritual neighbors and facilitate interfaith learning among our communities. Invite friends from different religious denominations in your town (or region) to one or a series of conversations that explores the qualities that make each of our spiritual journeys unique and what similarities we share.
Join a campaign or movement that brings together members of different religious traditions.
The civil rights movement united activists from sacred and secular backgrounds because then, like now, we know that racism is an affront to Divine Love and an obstacle to achieving wholeness. Today, Friends and the faithful of many different traditions are participating in the Black Lives Matter movement, The Poor People's Campaign, and efforts to protect our planet and its resources now, and for future generations.
Did we miss anything? Let us know and we'll add it.
This article originally appeared in FGC's Vital Friends eNewsletter for August 2020. Read the full newsletter here.