Interfaith as a Faith―A Way to Move Past Preaching about Love and Compassion to Actually Practicing Them "A commitment to Interfaith is no small commitment. Nor is it an easy commitment. But I do believe it can be a rewarding and healing one. Interfaith widens our world. And, if we let it, Interfaith frees us from the imprisoning shackles of one of the most debilitating of all human emotions―fear of the 'other.'" ―from Chapter 6 The interfaith movement is taking root. More and more of us are exploring it. At the same time interfaith finds itself at a crossroads. Where do we go now? Rev. Steven Greenebaum not only suggests the faith of Interfaith as a positive way forward but also offers a practical, down-to-earth approach to a more spiritually fulfilling life. In this accessible how-to guide, Greenebaum addresses: What it means to practice Interfaith as a faith and why you might want to embrace it. Why you can choose Interfaith as a faith and still keep your own spiritual tradition. How to establish the necessary foundations to start an Interfaith spiritual community. How to choose the right minister for your Interfaith community. What you can expect as your community forms and grows. And much, much more. Along with offering resources such as Interfaith liturgy and guides to Interfaith church governance, he includes the voices of members of the Living Interfaith Church, the community he founded, to share their whys and hows of participating in an Interfaith church.
Rev. Steven Greenebaum, an Interfaith minister and founder of Living Interfaith Church in Lynnwood, Washington, is the author of The Interfaith Alternative. Featured in the New York Times, he speaks and leads workshops on Interfaith and compassion as the core of our diverse spiritual traditions throughout the United States and Canada.
Table of Contents
Part I The Call of Interfaith 1 1 Interfaith as a Faith 3 2 Guides or Rulebooks? 7 3 Why Are Our Paths So Different? 11 4 What We Call It Matters 17 5 A Blasphemous Look at Blasphemy 22 Voices of Interfaith 26
Part II Day-to-Day Interfaith 29 6 The Decision to Act 31 7 Why Interfaith Can Be Hard 35 8 What Does It Mean to Practice Interfaith? 42 9 The Foundation of Interfaith Dialogue 50 10 Broadening the Dialogue 57 Voices of Interfaith 61
Part III Starting an Interfaith Church 63 11 Holding Safe, Sacred Space 65 12 Foundations for Starting an Interfaith Spiritual Community 72 13 The Road to Living Interfaith 78 14 Joys and Bumps along the Way 90 15 Some Thoughts on Interfaith Ministry 97 Voices of Interfaith 100
Part IV Resources for an Interfaith Community 101 16 Choosing an Interfaith Minister 109 17 I Think I Want to Be an Interfaith Minister 114 18 Anatomy of an Interfaith Service 119 19 Some Interfaith Liturgy 125
Conclusion: Where Do We Go from Here? 135 Appendix: Possibly Helpful Documents 137 Notes 152 Suggestions for Further Reading 157
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