The Parliament Blog

Archive for the ‘communication’ tag

Interfaith Social Media: Question and Answer

The recent Parliament Webinar, “Interfaith Social Media: Interfaith Leadership in the Digital World” with Frank Fredericks provoked many questions during the webinar. Frank has kindly taken time to answer many of the questions that we did not have time to answer during the webinar itself:


Is Listening Becoming a Lost Art?

Kay Lindahl

Kay Lindahl

by David Whiting
from The Orange County Register

There’s something weird about communication. We emphasize only half the process – talking.

There are conventions, classes and clubs for yakking. But what about listening?

We take listening for granted. But many of us get accused of not listening – and we sometimes feel we’re not being listened to.

Kay Lindahl wants to change all that. But her method is different from most.

Instead of complaining or being silently frustrated, she’s spent the last 15 years dedicating her life to finding listening tools, to writing books on the subject, to talking – and listening – to groups.

She even founded the Listening Center.

Tip one: Listen to understand. You don’t have to agree. But try to be open.


Yes, Lindahl has a Listening Center that offers classes, workshops and retreats.

I also discovered there’s a Listening Awareness Month (March). And I learned there’s an International Listening Association, founded in 1979.

One of its tips? Avoid communicating that you’ve made up your mind by saying, “Yes, but…”

Because of her books, “The Sacred Art of Listening,” “Practicing the Sacred Art of Listening,” and “How Does God Listen?” Lindahl was made a certified listening professional.

And where there’s a movement there’s hope – even in an age in which half of us seem to be texting and reading e-mails in the middle of conversations.

A former nurse and with 10 grandchildren, Lindahl explains, “Listening is a creative force that transforms relationships.”

Click here to read the full article

December 6th, 2011 at 10:42 am

Ingrid Mattson on Communication and Islam

Islamic society head describes changing Muslim community engagement

by Deb ChristianPicture 23

Click here to read the full article and watch the plenary video

CHICAGO (RCCongress 2010), April 9 — Dr. Ingrid Mattson, Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary told a story of how change involves communication to participants gathered in Chicago for Religion Communication Congress 2010 (April 7-10).

The congress is the once-a-decade gathering of communications professionals from different from different faiths, different countries, and different areas of faith. More than 500 participants in this decade’s event explored the theme “Embracing Change: Communicating Faith in Today’s World.”

Using the example of a film documentary planned to help explain Muslim beliefs, Dr. Mattson described the difficulty innate in a medium requiring images, when Islam forbids the creation of images of the prophet Mohammed.

To assist the filmmakers, Dr. Mattson suggested the best way to represent the prophet was to look at the life of his followers, then found herself a reluctant participant in the often intrusive filming process. She found this experience a good metaphor for American Muslims because it illustrated the tension between the cultural emphasis on “I” rather than on God.

Dr. Mattson spoke at length on the affects of the 9/11 attacks on American Muslims. “How do you respond to injustice when you are persecuted because someone hijacked your religion? We had to divert money, human resources, creativity, thoughts, strategy to keep the Muslim community safe,” she said. “God has a purpose and we are only responsible for our own response.”

These difficulties led more Muslims to better understand the need for interfaith involvement. That involvement now is much more a part of the mainstream Muslim life. Another response that grew from 9/11 was a push to define more globally “who is a Muslim” Since religious authority is decentralized in Islam, in 2005 King Abdullah of Jordan called together a group of scholars, who issued the Amman Declaration to stop sectarianism within the Muslim faith.

These events and others have been instrumental in helping the Muslim community to find new partners, become more open to change and learn to use change as the basis for new opportunity.

Dr. Mattson also is President of the Islamic Society of North America. She is the first woman and first convert to Islam to lead the organization.

Click here to read the full article and watch the plenary video