Each Tuesday this September we'll be discussing themes from The Faith Club, an interfaith journey between three women friends -- a Muslim, a Jew and a Christian. It's an easy, engaging and rich read -- if you're busy, keep it in the car and read at stop lights, or a sneak in a few minutes before bed. If you haven't started yet, come join the conversation and share your reflections and experiences.
The beginning of the learning year is a good time to look out into the world, as well as into our own hearts to discover what it means to understand, appreciate and grow in relation to people, faiths and experiences very different from our comfort zone.
This week I invite you to share your experiences with people from different faiths, both positive, negative and whatever ambiguous feelings lie in the spaces between these poles.
1. When was the first time (if ever) you had a close friendship with someone of a different religious background?
2. On page 28, someone is quoted saying, "'I never liked that word "tolerance." It's too passive. Think about it. To tolerate someone? That doesn't sound very positive. It's not a call to engage and understand someone else. I like the phrase "'mutual appreciation.'"
What do you think of the word "tolerance?" Do you have any alternatives that you find have more to offer?
3. Why is interfaith friendship and conversation important?