The World Faith Blog

World Faith: The Interfaith Service Network

Pictures from the Day of Interfaith Youth Service 24 April , 2013

Filed under: Blog Post,Pictures — Michelle Earhart @ 11:56 am
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For this year’s Day of Interfaith Youth Service, World Faith teamed up with local students to volunteer with Harlem Grown. If you’re in NY, volunteer hours are every Saturday until June, 10-4– swing by and get your hands dirty doing something fun!

(You don’t actually have to get your hands dirty- there are gloves.)

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WF Cameroon Cleans Up 8 April , 2013

Filed under: Blog Post,Chapter Reports,Pictures — Michelle Earhart @ 12:51 pm
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This month, WF Cameroon helped to clean an orphanage. The main projects were clearing the overgrown grass surrounding the orphanage, scrubbing and disinfecting the toilet, washing the childrens’ dresses, and disinfecting the orphanage with better cleaning chemicals than the orphanage had at hand.

Here are our volunteers hard at work and play with the children of the orphanage:

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Interfaith Appalacia relaunches and recruits! 3 April , 2013

Filed under: Blog Post,Chapter Reports — Michelle Earhart @ 3:49 pm
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Interfaith Appalachia is relaunching on May 29, 2013! Their new name will be Project CALL: Community Achievement, Learning and Leadership. They will still work to foster multicultural collaboration and leadership development, bridging diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

Project CALL will continue to offer 2-3 Interfaith Appalachia Alternative Breaks per year, although their focus will become Community Leadership Intensives in summer. These will draw together students from central Appalachia and greater Boston/the northeast.

The first Community Leadership Intensive will take place in July 2013, and is an opportunity to serve and learn amongst a diverse group of up to 12 students from both Harlan County, Kentucky (and neighboring areas), and from greater Boston. Participants will volunteer together with urban and rural community agriculture projects, build a strong sense of team, and learn from one another’s backgrounds; they will live together, eat together, serve and learn together, and prepare to re-enter their home communities with a deepened understanding of how to advance pluralism and community development. Applications will be announced in early April, 2013, and are open to high school students. Financial aid will be available, and admissions need-blind. Please email David@InterfaithAppalachia.org with any questions, comments, or suggestions.

 

Pictures from World Faith Gambia 31 October , 2012

Filed under: Chapter Reports,Pictures — Nele @ 10:00 am
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Animating Interfaith Culture for 5000 Teenagers a Year 10 October , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
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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

 

Fall 2012 Call for Contributing Scholars! 6 September , 2012

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

State of Formation is pleased to announce it is accepting applications for Contributing Scholars!

State of Formation is a community conversation between young leaders in formation. Together, a cohort of seminarians, rabbinical students, graduate students and the like – the future religious and moral leaders of tomorrow – will work to redefine the ethical discourse today, particularly as it is used to refract current events and personal experiences. This initiative is supported by a partnership between the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (CPWR), Journal of Inter-Religious Dialogue (JIRD), Hebrew College, and Andover Newton Theological School.

Over the past two years, emerging religious and ethical leaders from around the country and the world have engaged each other and readers by sharing their stories and views on State of Formation. Conversations once dominated by established leaders are now readily embraced by the up-and-comers, and accessible to contributors from many different moral, faith, political, economic, and social backgrounds.

Contributing Scholars to State of Formation will be able to take advantage of the numerous benefits to participating in the State of Formation Contributing Scholars Fellowship. In addition to being recognized as a Contributing Scholar by JIRD and CPWR, they may be eligible for travel grants and may have their work featured in articles on additional platforms like CPWR’s website, PeaceNext, The Huffington Post, Interfaith Youth Core, Pluralism Project, Interfaith Observer, and Tikkun.

Nominees should be currently enrolled in a seminary, rabbinical school, graduate program, or another institution for theological or philosophical formation — or up to three years out of their graduate program in a professional setting. (On rare occasions, exceptions will be made to these guidelines in order to increase the diversity of the writers.)  Contributors should be able to commit to post monthly on the forum while showing respect others from different traditions.

Does this describe you or an emerging leader you know? Please take a moment to fill out our brief nomination form. Nominations for the fall are due September 30, 2012 and will be accepted on a rolling basis.

Sincerely,
Honna Eichler, Managing Director of State of Formation at the Journal for Inter-Religious Dialogue.

Originally posted on: http://www.stateofformation.org/2012/08/fall-2012-call-for-contributing-scholars/

 

Updates from World Faith Tanzania – Visit to Neema Baptist Church 5 September , 2012

Filed under: Chapter Reports,News,Pictures — Nele @ 10:00 am
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The community of the Neema Baptist Church lives in a marginalized semi-arid rural area suffering from absolute poverty.  World Faith Tanzania conducted a one-day capacity building workshop identifying the available resources and opportunities in order to improve the community’s vulnerable living conditions.

The participants main goal was to improve their housing conditions. Most of the houses are made of straw walls and roofs which leak  during the rainy season. The aim is to build houses with tin roofs and wooden walls to protect the residents against the rain.

 

Job Opportunity in Interfaith Dialogue in Nigeria 1 September , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
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UMass Boston’s Center for Peace, Democracy, and Development (http://www.umb.edu/cpdd/) and Public Conversations Project (PCP: http://www.publicconversations.org/) are pleased to announce a major initiative to support the conflict resolution work of the Interfaith Mediation Centre (IMC) of Kaduna, Nigeria (see http://www.imcnigeria.org/).  We seek a Program Manager to assist IMC in coordinating the day-to-day operations of UMass Boston and PCP under the supervision of IMC leadership, and to support IMC operations if requested.  The Program Manager will be responsible for delivering services, consulting with staff and serving as primary liaison between IMC and PCP/UMass.  The role of the Program Manager is to ensure coherence among the international partners and the sustainability of their support efforts, and to help UMass better understand the daily working and needs of IMC.  The Program Manager will be responsible for assisting the PCP Project Director with delivering training in Reflective Structured Dialogue while he is in country, and will continue to monitor and support PCP dialogue initiatives when the PCP Project Director is not in Nigeria.  The Program Manager will also work with the UMASS Principal Investigator to oversee UMass Graduate Student teams while they are in Nigeria, including the gathering of monitoring and evaluation data.  Lastly, the Program Manager will also work with UMass and PCP in the development of as early warning system, and assist in developing the network in the field.

Consequently, the ideal candidate will have several years experience in Reflective Structured Dialogue and other conflict resolution methods, interfaith peacebuilding work, project management skills, and have lived in Africa.  Candidates with strengths in several of these areas are encouraged to apply, but conflict resolution experience is required, preferably with a Masters degree or higher in a relevant discipline.

Interested candidates please email your CV to both Prof. Darren Kew (darren.kew@umb.edu) and Dave Joseph (djoseph@publicconversations.org) as soon as possible.  Further information about the project can also be provided on request.

For more information visit: http://bit.ly/PwWHt0

 

Second Interfaith Youth Iftar Pakistan 15 August , 2012

Filed under: Chapter Reports,News,Pictures — Nele @ 10:00 am
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On August 11, 2012, Interfaith Youth in Action / World Faith Pakistan organized its second Interfaith Youth Iftar. More than 50 young leaders from different faith groups from across Lahore and the surrounding areas broke the fast together and pleasant evening.
The main purpose of this Iftar was to offer religiously-diverse youth a platform to get to know each other and to develop friendships. Events like this aim at fostering inter-religious understanding, reconciliation, and peace between Pakistan’s different faith groups.
“This is the second time I am participating in a IYA/WFP activity. It is inspiring to make friends with people form other faith traditions and it helps me to get rid of my misunderstandings about other religions.” (Mr. Hanif Hunzie, Training Officer in PTCL)
“We are living in isolation. These kind of projects help us to build a more tolerant society based on the values of peace and harmony.” (Ms. Anila Noor, Project Manager)
But the event was not without hitches.
“Many Muslims declined our offer after they learned that the Iftar would be held in a church,” explained Shahid Ghouri, President of Interfaith Youth in Action / World Faith Pakistan. “Some people don’t want to eat meals prepared in a church .”
However, the second Interfaith Iftar was a huge success! It brought together youth from diverse backgrounds and gave them the opportunity to learn about each other’s unique customs, traditions, and beliefs. We look forward to our third Interfaith Iftar in 2013!

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We Are In This Together: Young People of Different Faiths Reflect on Sikh Shooting 9 August , 2012

Filed under: News — Nele @ 10:00 am
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By Harsha Sharma

The Faiths Act Fellowship of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation brought together 34 young people of faith from around the world — creatively highlighting faith as a force for good. Over the course of one year, we mobilized faith groups to engage in sustainable interfaith social action within our local communities and the results were inspiring. As the Fellowship came to a close a few weeks ago, we have reflected deeply on the importance for us as an international cohort to continue our efforts wherever in the world we may be.

The recent events in Wisconsin highlight just why religious tolerance, coexistence and literacy are so imperative in today’s world.

In the wake of the tragic gurdwara shooting, a group of us across continents have come together — inspired by our time working with global Sikh communities.

It was Sunday lunchtime, here in London, that a Sikh friend was discussing the concept of Chardi Kala (a state of mind linked to rising spirits in all situations) with me. When I heard about the gurdwara shooting later that evening my first thoughts were of the families afflicted by this heinous act of terror. As a Hindu, I am deeply inspired by the unwavering state of Chardi Kala demonstrated by the families affected in Wisconsin and pray for their strength.

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