Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What it means to be "interfaith"

candleImage by Joost J. Bakker IJmuiden via Flickr
It just occurred to me that there may be some confusion over the notion of "interfaith." It has come to my attention that everything we do are devoid of any sectarian references, or even a mention of "God."

Right now, the only explicitly "interfaith" thing is the interfaith Sunday service that is planned, which is largely designed at this moment as mostly a non-denominational Protestant service with elements drawn from Judaism, and could also be familiar to many Unitarian Universalists.

Aside from events specifically noted as "interfaith," everything else should follow the customs and uses of whichever the traditions and belief systems associated with each individual chaplain or chaplains -- and they all have a freedom to do so.  The only "ground rules" we have laid out as part of the Statement of Purpose is that we are to be good listeners, to respect each person's dignity, beliefs, and practices, and do not use this ministry primarily as a tool of proselytizing.  Additionally, while acknowledging that there are widely different opinions on matters such as family, reproductive choices, gender, and sexuality, we aim for the greatest possible degree of inclusion and hospitality on the basis of love and respect; and in keeping with the recent General Assembly consensus, it is our intention to keep our community a safe place free from sexism, racism, and homophobia.

So far there have been mostly Jewish services and events at #OccupyPortland.  As we become a larger group, we hope that our diversity will also grow.


Sarah Morrigan
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