Friday, October 10, 2008


I went to a meeting in Stillwater, Minnesota on Tuesday this week, which was a rainy, misty day. Here are a couple of photos of the Stillwater Lift Bridge, which goes over the St. Croix River to Wisconsin.

Last fall I attended five of the six sessions of an Interfaith Dialogue Series sponsored by the St. Paul Area Council of Churches. It was a very meaningful, enlightening, and moving experience to be a part of those dialogues. The SPACC is hosting another series this fall, again on Monday evenings. I highly recommend them if you're interested in interfaith dialogue and anywhere near the Twin Cities. This year's topic is "Your Truth and My Truth: Openness and Absolutes in Our Religious Traditions"
The dialogue will focus on questions such as:
• How does your faith tradition view the teachings and practices of other religious traditions?
• How can we affirm both absolutes and openness in our religious traditions?
• How can our traditions support positive interfaith relationships without sacrificing their uniqueness and authority?

Each evening will include brief presentations by area religious leaders from different traditions, followed by facilitated dialogue in groups of participants from different traditions.
Open to the public; donations invited.
Sessions will be held five Monday evenings, Oct. 27 through Nov. 24, 2008, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at five different area houses of worship. Check for more information.
Mondays, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
All sessions moderated by Rabbi Amy Eilberg & Joan Haan.

Here are the locations and presenters:

PRESENTER: Dr. Anant Rambachan (Hindu), Dept. of Religion, St. Olaf College
LOCATION: Gloria Dei Lutheran Church - 700 S. Snelling Avenue in Saint Paul

PRESENTERS: Rev. Lee Piche (Christian), Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis & Prof. Adil Ozdemir (Muslim) Muslim Christian Dialogue Center, University of St. Thomas
LOCATION: Muslim American SocietyMasjid Al-Aman - 4100 E. 66th Street, Inver Grove Heights

PRESENTERS: Prof. Earl Schwartz (Jewish) Religion Dept., Hamline University & Dr. Fatma Reda (Muslim) University of Minnesota Medical School
LOCATION: Beth Jacob Congregation - 1179 Victoria Curve in Mendota Heights

PRESENTERS: Rabbi Amy Eilberg (Jewish) Jay Phillips Center for Jewish Christian Studies & Dr. Wilbur Stone (Christian) Bethel Seminary
LOCATION:Islamic Institute of Minnesota - Masjid Al-Salaam1460 Skillman Ave East in Maplewood

PRESENTERS: Imam Abdisalam Adam (Muslim), Director of Dar Al-Hijrah Civic Center, Rabbi Adam Spilker (Jewish), Mount Zion Temple; Roxanne Meshar (Christian) University of St. Thomas
LOCATION: St. Pascal Baylon Catholic Church 1757 Conway Street in Saint Paul

These dialogues are an antidote to fundamentalism and fearmongering, I think.

Neither of those things is of the Spirit.

Today I am grateful for: truth-tellers, whistleblowers and prophets; bridge-builders, mediators, meditators and artists; the beauty of autumn; good friends with whom to toast marshmallows.
Holding in prayer today: candidates for office in the US, their staffs and supporters; people who work in advertising; people who work for the Dept. of Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Olga Franco del Cid and the families whose children were killed and injured in the Cottonwood bus accident; JK, JZ, PC, PM, MS, JG and others dealing with serious health issues; Sisters of St. Joseph in Uganda.


Doc Op said...

Dear Baya Clare

I had some thoughts I wanted to share with respect to this post, but didn't know if you liked to hold discussions which involve differences of thought on your blog, or off - by email.

Here, however, is a starting point for some discussion. What do you mean when you say that Fundamentalism is contrary to the Spirit? What, in your mind constitutes (Christian) Fundamentalism, and what characteristics does it bring to the table that don't sit well?


suzannah said...

your list of things for which to be grateful is the best thing i've read anywhere in a while. amen!

i am finding your blog and your life fascinating--i will be back:)