The Parliament Blog

Archive for the ‘new york’ tag

Including Ourselves: A Lesson from an Elevator-Ride

Photo Credit to State of Formation by Simran Jeet Singh
from State of Formation

It’s not uncommon for kids to ask their parents about “that thing” on my head.

In most instances, the parents look at me uncomfortably, embarrassed that I might be offended in some way. I’ll usually acknowledge their discomfort with an awkward smile before looking away and pretending not to notice as they try to discretely shush their kids.

But recently I had the most amazing experience. I walked into the elevator of my apartment building in Manhattan and — despite knowing New York etiquette — I couldn’t help but smile at the two little girls standing with their young mother. The girls were wearing matching, polka-dotted raincoats, and they were fully focused on not dropping their popsicles.

The older of the two girls must have sensed me enter the elevator, because she slowly shifted her neck to look up at me and gawked for a few seconds. She then turned to her mom and unabashedly shouted: “Hey Mom! What’s that thing on his head?!”

The young mother made eye contact with me and quickly checked to see if I was planning to respond. I flashed my standard awkward smile, and she returned an awkward smile of her own before totally catching me by surprise.

“That’s a turban.”

“Why does he wear it?”

“It’s part of his religion. Do you remember the boy in your class who wore a turban?”

“Yeah, he doesn’t cut his hair. He has really long hair. ”

I was shocked. I wanted to give everyone in the elevator a high-five, but remembering I was in New York, I tried to play it cool. I put on my Denzel Washington face (the coolest person I could think of on the spot), and as I walked out of the elevator, I turned to the mother and whispered a soft “thank you.”

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Unexpected Diversity: Interfaith Organizing from the Bottom Up

Matthew Weiner

Matthew Weiner

Register Now Wednesday, June 20, 2012
12:00pm U.S. Central Time

The interreligious movement has no road map: we are creating it as we go. Effective interfaith work today requires new methods and a new kind of grassroots organizing. The movement is not static. It is an experiment.

This webinar will seek to address the following questions: How do we creatively organize religious and spiritual communities when the desired outcome is not a fixed idea and can change? How can our work be genuinely inclusive of traditions that are more conservative? How can religious communities better engage with the secular public?

Matthew Weiner has worked as an interfaith organizer for 20 years, and he now serves as Associate Dean of Religious Life at Princeton University. He served for ten years as Program Director for the Interfaith Center of New York, where he developed a methodology for engaging religiously diverse communities through civil society, working with over 500 grassroots religious leaders and the New York State Court System, the New York Public Library, Catholic Charities, the New York Board of Rabbis, and the United Nations. He earned a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and an BA from New York University. He writes about public religion, interfaith and civil society, and engaged Buddhism.

 

Title: Unexpected Diversity:  Interfaith Organizing from the Bottom Up 

Date: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Time: 12:00pm CDT
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the Webinar.

System Requirements
PC-based attendees:
Required: Windows® 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server

Macintosh®-based attendees:
Required: Mac OS® X 10.4.11 (Tiger®) or newer

Space is limited.
Reserve your Webinar seat now at:
https://www3.gotomeeting.com/register/715513238

Click here to see more webinars and recordings of previous webinars

 

The Rabbi And The Christian Cab Driver

Author Rabbi Brad Hirschfield. Photo from clal.org

by Brad Hirschfield
from the Huffington Post

I flew into Syracuse, N.Y., on a windy evening in October of 2000. After we landed, I hailed a cab. This not being New York City, where I am from, there was no cab line, no wait and no time to look at the car I was jumping into.

As soon as I was in the cab however, I noticed that pretty much every surface of the car’s interior was covered with a JESUS LOVES YOU sticker, that there was a crucifix mounted on the dashboard and there were even little green pocket bibles hanging on strings at the point where the windshield meets the frame of the car. This wasn’t just a cab, it was a rolling cathedral!

Part of me thought I should just jump out of the car, but we were already pulling away from the curb and I didn’t want to cause any trouble or cost the driver his fare.

As he pulled out of the airport, the cabdriver, a middle-aged man with a scraggly beard, lo
ng greasy blond hair and wearing a red checkered shirt, cut off at the sleeves, was checking me out in the rearview mirror. He was actually using his rearview mirror to see if what he thought he saw on the back of my head (a kippah/yarmulke/skullcap) was really there.

Having decided that it was really back there, which it was, he finally asked in the raspy voice of a heavy smoker, “So, what do you do?”

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Trinidad and Tobago Consulate Launches New York-Based Interfaith Council

The Trinidad and Tobago Interfaith Council and Advisory Committee in New York with Consul General at centre and chairman Dr Glenville Ashby in rear.

by Dr. Glenville Ashby
from The Guardian Media

The scene was idyllic as a range of religion-cultural expressions graced York College Performing Arts Center.

Invocations, Quranic recitation, Indian classical dances, Roman Catholic liturgy, Orisa libations, and the tolling bells of Spiritual Baptist dazzled. Coupled with the musical syncretisation of the pan, tassa, tabla, and sitar—the audience was visually and audibly transfixed. It was the first salvo in a series of events to mark T&T’s 50th anniversary as an independent state.

Hundreds, including members of the Caribbean consular corps, packed the popular theatre for the four-hour long interfaith and thanksgiving service that also featured addresses by the Diaspora’s religious figures on the theme, Faith in a Modern World.

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Multifaith Summer Internship Opportunity

Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit

Farm the Land, Grow the Spirit

May 31 – July 28, 2011

Are you passionate about social justice? Interested in activism? Curious about other religious traditions? Muslim, Jewish or Christian? Ready to get your hands dirty – literally?

Apply now to spend your summer with the Community of Living Traditions at the Stony Point Center. Join other young adults for eight weeks of building multi-faith community while farming, studying nonviolence and community organizing, exploring the roots of nonviolence within Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and deepening and sharing your spiritual practices. All participants will receive a $500 stipend for the summer, as well as free room and board.

Click here for more information