The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Join the World Faith Team- make a commitment! 4 June , 2013

Filed under: News — Michelle Earhart @ 3:14 pm

Dear friends of World Faith,

As World Faith continues to grow, we have only become more thankful to donors such as yourself, who help us make our work possible. Without your support, our work wouldn’t have the depth and width of impact in communities around the world. This impact is only continuing to grow. We thank you, and present to you a new way of recognizing those of you who give consistently.

For those of you willing to solidify your giving into a monthly commitment, we present to you the following opportunities:

World Faith Allies ($20+/month)
You get:
A personal thank you call from World Faith
A free gift during the year (interfaith swag)
10% off World Faith benefit events
A shout-out as an Ally in annual report
An invitation to a member’s only reception

World Faith Friends ($50+/month)
You get:
A personal thank you call from World Faith
Two free gifts during the year (interfaith swag)
20% off World Faith benefit events
A shout-out as a Friend in the annual report
An invitation to a member’s only reception
A personalized thank you email from a WF leader
First dibs on other cool opportunities
Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to building a strong team of supporters like you.

Best wishes,

The World Faith Team

 

Interfaith Appalacia – The First Jew I Met 18 April , 2013

Filed under: Blog Post,Chapter Reports,News,Press — Michelle Earhart @ 2:55 pm
The First Jew I Met
Excerpt from a story by Chad McKnight, Outdoor Education Coordinator 
 
Read the complete story in the upcoming Interfaith Appalachia Journal, a collection of testimonies, stories, and art from participants and IA community members.

“…[David's] views were so much different than mine. Not just his religion, but everything. I eat every kind of meat there is, he is a vegan. I am a very conservative republican, he is a liberal democrat. I carry a gun in the woods; he has never shot a gun, and spends most of his time on concrete. I am an orthodox Christian, he is a liberal Jew. How in the world can we get along with each other much less how could I help him bring about world peace?

“Even though it sounds like we would have nothing in common, we quickly became very good friends, and my reservations were eased. I also realized that religion is not worth having, if you don’t share it. Working with IA has given me the opportunity to share what I believe with people I would have never even met otherwise. It also has given me a chance to dispel some of the negative stereotypes about us hillbillies. I have been working with IA from day one, and recently became the Outdoor Education Coordinator, which allows me to show off the beauty of Harlan County to many more people.”

 

Frank Fredericks at Clinton Global Initiative 29 March , 2013

Filed under: News,Press — Michelle Earhart @ 2:09 pm

Clinton Global Initiative recently interviewed Frank Fredericks about what it’s like to launch a startup in: The Stories Behind The Startups: Frank Fredericks, CGI University Class of 2008.

The biggest perk of social entrepreneurship? The freedom, according to Frank, who enjoys his autonomy as executive director of World Faith. “The best part of starting my own organization is being able to tinker, question, and innovate everything, and never having to say ‘that’s just the way it is’ and accept that it can’t be changed,” he said.

It’s great to see Frank get recognition for his work with World Faith! You can read the full article here.

 

Congratulations Shahid, Acumen Fund’s Pakistan Fellow! 8 February , 2013

Filed under: Blog Post,News,Press — Michelle Earhart @ 4:37 pm

Shahid Remat, our own director of World Faith Pakistan, has just been selected for Acumen Fund’s inaugural class of Pakistan Fellows! He is one of only twenty people chosen for leading a “unique project with large-scale social impact in Pakistan.” The program will provide the opportunity to develop leadership skills, advance personal social change projects, and connect with the global community.

We are very proud of Shahid. World Faith Pakistan runs the Women Adult Education Center, which has helped many women gain literacy, life, and livelihood skills, and the Interfaith Center, educating interfaith youth and helping them visit places of worship. See some pictures of the Women Adult Education Center in one of our previous blog posts.

Read more about the Acumen Fund and Shahid’s selection here.

 

Food, Fun, and Faitheism: World Faith’s Annual Winter Gala! 1 December , 2012

Filed under: News — Administrator @ 10:25 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Save the Date!

Join World Faith for our 2012 Annual Winter Gala! Celebrate an evening of food, fun and faitheism. This year, World Faith will be honoring Chris Stedman, author of the revolutionary book, Faitheist: How an Atheist Found Common Ground with the Religious. Don’t miss an evening of great drinks, food, and conversation!

Chris Stedman will be sharing his inspiring story of a former Evangelical Christian turned atheist who now works to bridge the divide between atheists and the religious. Unlike some of the atheists like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens who promote a vehement disdain for religion, in Faitheist, Stedman tells his own story to challenge the orthodoxies of this movement and make a passionate argument that atheists should engage religious diversity respectfully.

Along with a complimentary book, attendees will enjoy drinks, dinner, and entertainment. The benefit will be held Saturday, December 15th, at the NYU Center for Spiritual Life at 238 Thompson Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10012 . Cocktail hour and schmoozing begins at 5:30pm, followed by a sit down dinner at 6:30pm. Along with Stedman’s exciting and intimate story of Faitheist, guests will enjoy a multimedia presentation of World Faith, a community auction, and the chance to participate in a Q & A about World Faith’s work and how to get involved.

There are a limited number of seats so don’t miss out on this magical evening! RSVP by Wednesday, December 12th. If you are interested in booking a table, please reply with your group name/organization and how many seats you will require. Those reserving a table will receive group deals, so please inquire. Tickets are $50 and include drinks, dinner, and a complimentary book.  Purchase a ticket here by donating $50 with paypal. For more information about Faitheist, visit the official website at: http://faitheistbook.com/about.

See you there!

The World Faith Team

 

Animating Interfaith Culture for 5000 Teenagers a Year 10 October , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
Tags: , ,

by Tina Petrova

Scarboro Missions in Toronto has a long history of promoting the Golden Rule as a universal ethic. The jewel in the crown of their interfaith ministry may be a workshop called “Animating the Golden Rule with World Religions,” offered to hundreds of young people every week. The workshop opens a compelling, appreciative door into religion and spirituality in its full diversity. It introduces teen-agers to an ethic of reciprocity with joy and respect rather than judgment, with creative engagement rather than didacticism.

The achievement is remarkable. In a just world, Scarboro’s facilitators would be teaching teachers throughout Canada and far beyond. The world isn’t just, but it is networked, and with the story below and a few links at the bottom, you can learn much more about teaching and learning world religions through the lens of the Golden Rule. Ed.

* * *

Lesson Plans in the Universal Ethic of Reciprocity

It’s a cold, snowy morning in Toronto Canada. At 9:15 am a group of 45 eleventh grade high school students get out of buses and file into a room. A music video with Bob Marley and Bono from U2 is playing loudly on the full sized screen behind them.

Most of them have fashionable hoodies obscuring their sleepy faces, covering I-pods or cell phone ear buds. A blank stare greets us from most.

During “Animating,” students break into groups and create skits exemplifying what they are learning about different religions.

Suddenly, they perk up. Images of Bob Marley performing a virtual duet with Bono flash life-size across the screen. The hoodies come down to their shoulders, and the ear buds come out. Chairs are pulled up closer to the front of the room, and the atmosphere shifts dramatically from resignation to interest and smiles.

Welcome to Scarboro Missions, an organization of lay and ordained men and women dedicated to spreading the good news, social justice, an ethic of reciprocity, and interfaith/intercultural dialogue.

“Animating the Golden Rule through the World’s Religions” takes students on an energetic six-hour fun, laughter and music filled adventure. They are invited into an experience of the beauty and wisdom of the world’s religions through the use of sacred symbols, stories, music, dress, movement, prayer, and meditation.

The journey these students take is the brainchild of Scarboro’s educational director, Kathy Murtha. She worked for more than 25 years developing curriculum for high school students before giving birth this particular program, working in collaboration with two award-winning Canadian artists, poet Kate Marshall Flaherty and filmmaker Tina Petrova.

“Animating the Golden Rule” draws nearly 5,000 Toronto-area students from high schools each year to Scarboro Missions Centre, mostly aged 16 and 17. It was designed to fulfill the requirements for a reflective, meditative retreat day for the Catholic School Board. Since starting in this format in 2005, though, the workshop has gone much further than the innovators dreamed.

The project has not gone unnoticed. Kathy and her team were invited to participate in a prototype multicultural program funded by Canada’s Ministry of Citizenship and Culture, in what may be Canada’s most ethnically diverse neighborhood, Regent Park. Designed for young people aged 16 to 25, it features six months of weekly sessions studying the arts in all its forms – hip hop, spinning music (as a DJ), fashion design, dance, photography and much more. Kathy and her gifted facilitators were chosen from a broad selection of organizations to provide an interfaith, intercultural experience for young adults from numerous backgrounds, including Hindu, Buddhist, Wiccan, and Rastafarian.

Both the high-school workshop and the Regent Park curriculum offer imaginative explorations of the Golden Rule. Paul McKenna, interfaith director at Scarboro Missions, is the creator the Golden Rule poster, one of the global interfaith movement’s most powerful and widely circulated resources. Paul has become an international spokesperson for the cause and oversees the translation and distribution of Golden Rule posters in numerous languages which are available at the Golden Rule movie. Video clips of the workshop can be viewed at GoldenRule TV.

Scarboro Missions has created a raft of educational tools, many of them downloadable for free at their website. The essence of the workshop has been captured in a DVD and Teachers Guidebook. For further information visit The Golden Rule Movie.

Originally posted on The Interfaith Observer: http://theinterfaithobserver.org/journal-articles/2012/9/15/animating-interfaith-culture-for-5000-teenagers-a-year.html

 

Back to School – Updated from World Faith Gambia 20 September , 2012

Each year, World Faith Gambia and the teachers of the Mango Tree Nursery School organize a party full of food, drinks, music, and dancing to welcome the new students and to say goodbye to those leaving the school. Children, teachers, and volunteers went from house to house, singing songs and collecting small donations for the upcoming school year.

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For more information about World Faith Gambia visit: http://worldfaith.org/africa/50-gambia

 

World Faith Pakistan on the Culture of Peace News Network 17 September , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Greetings from Lahore, Pakistan!! Interfaith Youth in Action (IYA), a network of diverse faith youth and a project of Youth Development Foundation (YDF) with Separate leadership and local chapter of World Faith USA, is a non-profit, non-government and secular organization led by young people from diverse faiths and backgrounds in Pakistan. IYA serves as a network of diverse youth to promote pluralism and mutual respect for religious diversity and bridge building among youth of different faiths through interfaith dialogues, friendly relationship and human based coexistent.

 

Our purpose is to provide opportunity and safe spaces for the youth of each faith to come together to build understanding, reduce misconceptions and develop healthy relationship through social activities, exposures visits, interfaith celebrations, sports gathering and community service activities to promote interfaith dialogues and relationship building by interaction and practical action for peace and harmony in Pakistani context.

We have been implementing our various peace advocacy projects mainly in post conflicts areas like Lahore, Faisalabad and Rawalpindi; Solidarity has been one of the focal themes in promoting and advocating peace as a way of life.

Originally posted on CPNN: http://cpnn-world.org/cgi-bin/read/articlepage.cgi?ViewArticle=932

 

Update from World Faith Indonesia – This is our story, Our Dream! 15 September , 2012

Filed under: Chapter Reports,News,Pictures — Nele @ 10:00 am

“Reading books makes me happy. Reading enables me to see the vast world, though I only live in the village”

Heartfelt happiness is a precious thing for children who live in times of conflict and post conflict. Their childhood is taken away and replaced by horrible and traumatic experiences such as shooting, killing, burning, torture, and they have to run for their life and become refugees in the forest for months. No more time to play, let alone practical joke. The only thing available for them is teror.
In post conflict period, the world they live in is a world protected by a fortress of identity based on ethnicity or religion. The feeling of suspicious, revenge and also hate against the world outside their own community not only create a feeling of being alienated, but also the feeling of being viewed as the enemy that if necessary would be combated. Difference is an alien concept to them because in their childhood, their world is confined, no room (to learn about the differences).

Books can serve as the bridge of their feelings that enable them to have dreams. Just listen to what 12 years old Andi says, “I want to be like Arai in the book of ‘Laskar Pelangi’(The Rainbow Army). He was smart, though he was poor, and lived in a village, and though he was an orphan.” Or listen to 17 years old Murni, “I want to become a comic book writer. I can better express what I feel when I draw pictures.” Their dreams have become their source of motivation in pursuing their aspirations for a better life.
Books enable them to break through the limitation of their identity box and take them adventuring the vast world and develop their awareness of the beauty of differences of many things in the world.
The idea of mobile library also comes from the story of the children who live outside the refugee compound. In pursuing a heartfelt happiness and to see the outside world, dozen of children travel as far as 2-3 kilometer to the Sophia Library. There are only twenty books available so these children need to take turn to read them. Yet these books are read over and over again enthusiastically by hundred of children. The only limitation to their enthusiasm is their lack of access to books. Therefore, they are so happy when a few parties organized by the Indonesian Community in Japan (ICJ) donate hundreds of books to the Sophia Project.
Therefore, the Sophia Project decides to use the idea of mobile library so that more children can enjoy a “happy heart” and “see the vast world”, to dream, and to give shape to their dream of a beautiful and peaceful post-conflict life.
To learn more about Project Sophia and to support World Faith Indonesia’s ambitious project, please visit: http://www.sophialibrary.blogspot.com/
 

Time to Speak Out – Libya and “Innocence of Muslims” Film 14 September , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
Tags: , , , ,
Dear Alliance Supporters,

With all that has happened this week in Libya and across the Middle East, many of us are left feeling that those on the fringe are speaking for all of us. Whether it is the group who made a film that denigrates the Prophet of Islam or those behind the brutal killing of 4 people at a consulate in Benghazi, they do not represent us.

While the media focuses only on the most extreme views, the rest of us don’t get a fair hearing. Many of our leaders aren’t listening either. In fact, some are using this as an opportunity to divide all of us along religious lines. That’s not responsible leadership.

While we stand for freedom of speech, using our freedom to humiliate others is not the way forward. And, while we all believe in peaceful protest, violence is unacceptable. The sanctity of human life must always be respected.

So, we’re calling on all of you now to join us on Twitter under the hashtag #RepresentYourself and speak out, so the rest of the world can hear. In the words of President Sampaio, “You are the Alliance.”

Represent yourself to the world so your voice isn’t drowned out by a vocal and violent minority.  Write blog posts, take pictures, film vlogs, and post them all with the hasthag #RepresentYourself.  Encourage others to do the same.  Call for responsible leadership and responsible citizenship.

United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

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