Every day we read the newspapers and see the unrelenting pain and suffering caused by failures of understanding, failures of openness, failures of communication. For those of us who involved in interfaith work, we know that a little bit of religious understanding can go a very long way. And we’re excited about the many opportunities we can create in our community to create it.
Our recently concluded Exploring Our Religious Landscapes series was sold out months before it started. 130 participants visited 4 houses of worship, learning about their traditions, enjoying their hospitality and engaging in dialogue. Participants were delighted by the dinner table discussions, and expressed surprise that there were so many similarities between very different faiths, particularly when it came to the value of service. And so many were impressed by the warm welcome and the generous hospitality they received from volunteers at all four sites.
Together, we were able to create an atmosphere that was so open that one participant was able to broach the sometimes touchy subject of Sharia law. The Muslim Unity Center’s Imam Almasmari explained the principles of Sharia law, such as the importance of family and loving God. He invited participants to raise their hands if they disagreed with any of these basic principles. Hands may not have gone up, but understanding did.
After the success of the first session, we’re excited to conduct a second program at 4 different houses of worship. We will kick off the next session at the Sri Venkateswara Hindu Temple on August 30, followed by The Jain Temple of Farmington Hills, The First Church of Christ- Scientist, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Registration is open for 130 spots, and going quickly, with over 50 registrants already.
Because of the incredible success, and requests from participants, we plan to do 4 series in the coming year. Future series may include more in-depth discoveries of faith traditions, such as a session on Dharmic faiths, and one on the different denominations of Judaism.
Registration for the fall session is $95 for all four evenings, which includes the textbook. You may also register for individual sessions at $30 each, and buy the textbook separately for $15.
Fall session dates are:
Sri Venkateswara Hindu Temple: Tuesday, August 30th– 26233 Taft Road, Novi
The Jain Temple of Farmington Hills: Tuesday, September 27th– 29278 12 Mile Road, Farmington Hills
The First Church of Christ, Scientist: Tuesday, November 1st– 191 North Chester Street, Birmingham
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: Tuesday, November 29th, 37425 Woodward Ave, Bloomfield Hills
Click here to register.