Standing Together Notes from February 21st.

Session Two: Yesterday’s Wisdom: Today’s World

KNOWLEDGE: Pivotal religious scholars in the three Abrahamic traditions emphasize the critical role that knowledge plays in maintaining both a just society and personal satisfaction.

Panel Framing Questions

What wisdom teaching(s) do you feel is (are) most relevant and would be most beneficial if intentionally practiced more in today’s world? Please select teachings from your own tradition, or from another tradition that you believe are consistent with your own.

How might we foster awareness, understanding and expression of this wisdom?

Panel Notes:

 

  1. Father John Whitney – Jesuit priest – St. Joseph’s Church Seattle

 

There are two Jesuit teaching’s that are great examples of wisdom

  1. The first pertains the Environment that the poem “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins calls out. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173660
  • God is present in the world, everywhere.
  • It is a faithful presence if we remember.
  • All is Holy; it is our duty to look for it.
  • It is at the core of environmental stewardship.
  1. The Spirit of Discernment
  • Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit movement concluded that:
  • God was calling him to be his authentic self
  • Once achieved he could develop a personal relationship with God.
  1. Rabbi Anson Laytner
  • Wisdom quote – “We were given two ears and one mouth – Listen before talking”
  • Following the commandments of God (mitzvoth) as laid out in the Torah is the foundation of Jewish wisdom
  • 613 Mitzvot (Good Deeds) can be reduced several formative wisdom sayings:
  • Rabbi Hillel: – “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others” that you would not want done to yourself.
  • “You can only despise another if you despise yourself????
  • “Love the Lord with all your might”
  • “Path to holiness is through “Hesed” – Loving kindness
  • There are three acts that are on this path to holiness and happiness
  • Study of Torah
  • Avodah – Prayer
  • “G’miluit Hasadim” – Acts of loving kindness
  • “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”. It implies you have to have a relationship first to know the other.
  • Fear can be looked at as a shared lovelessness.
  1. Tarek Dawoud (MAPS Interfaith Outreach Coordination Committee)
  • The Prophet Muhammad gazed around and notices that most people are poor.
  • One key Islamic commandment is “To love the poor”
  • Connect and get to know them.
  • American dialogue on the poor is dismissive, often calling them lazy, et al.
  • Bring your children in contact with the poor.
  • The Day of Judgment for the rich as they have to account for all their money.
  • Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) honoring the poor they need and create a deeper relationship with Allah.
  • In some ways the poorer are more ethical as they are not a

Panel Answered Questions

  1. What were the contributions of Prophets Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad?

– Moses brought down God’s laws to the Israelites. Also the Torah tells of the

covenants with Noah, Abrahamic and Moses .

– Jesus – gave us the gift of mercy; he gave his life and would not turn away from the needs of the people. His love was non-conditional; Just before the resurrection Jesus uttered” I love you even now”. Love of God has no limits.

– Muhammad – Surrendering to Allah

  1. What factors in America contribute to Islamaphobia? (Tarek)

– Willingness to act solely on fear

– Unwillingness to spend the time to get to know Muslims, their religion and culture.

  1. How do and should we practice our religious principles today?

– (Tarek) – Knowing and helping the poor;

– (Father John) “Listen before you give”; “Reality is greater than the idea or ideal”;

Take time when encountering the poor to talk with them on a personal level to treat them as a unique creation of God”

  1. What wisdom does each tradition give to those suffering?

– (Anson) – God is testing us and our responses to the less fortunate.

– There is much chance in life; Listen and keep your mouth shut.

– (Tarek) Common faith and hope; “with hardship camels ease”

Panel unanswered questions:

  1. Is it possible to separate yesterday’s wisdom from the enduring retelling of yesterday’s insults/aggression/grievous wrongs of your faith?
  2. How can I learn more about Muhammad’s teachings about loving the poor? What are the best sources?
  3. What does your religion say about questioning your faith? Most of us are the religion we are because we were born into it. What does each faith say about this cardinal sin?
  4. If Muhammad himself said in the Hadith that he was not sure he would go to heaven, how can an ordinary human be sure he/she will escape hellfire?

Standing Together Notes from February 21st.

 

Session Two: Yesterday’s Wisdom: Today’s World

KNOWLEDGE: Pivotal religious scholars in the three Abrahamic traditions emphasize the critical role that knowledge plays in maintaining both a just society and personal satisfaction.

Panel Framing Questions

What wisdom teaching(s) do you feel is (are) most relevant and would be most beneficial if intentionally practiced more in today’s world? Please select teachings from your own tradition, or from another tradition that you believe are consistent with your own.

How might we foster awareness, understanding and expression of this wisdom?

Panel Notes:

  1. Father John Whitney – Jesuit priest – St. Joseph’s Church Seattle

 

There are two Jesuit teaching’s that are great examples of wisdom

  1. The first pertains the Environment that the poem “God’s Grandeur” by Gerard Manley Hopkins calls out. http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/173660
  • God is present in the world, everywhere.
  • It is a faithful presence if we remember.
  • All is Holy; it is our duty to look for it.
  • It is at the core of environmental stewardship.
  1. The Spirit of Discernment
  • Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit movement concluded that:
  • God was calling him to be his authentic self
  • Once achieved he could develop a personal relationship with God.
  1. Rabbi Anson Laytner
  • Wisdom quote – “We were given two ears and one mouth – Listen before talking”
  • Following the commandments of God (mitzvoth) as laid out in the Torah is the foundation of Jewish wisdom
  • 613 Mitzvot (Good Deeds) can be reduced several formative wisdom sayings:
  • Rabbi Hillel: – “What is hateful to you, do not do unto others” that you would not want done to yourself.
  • “You can only despise another if you despise yourself????
  • “Love the Lord with all your might”
  • “Path to holiness is through “Hesed” – Loving kindness
  • There are three acts that are on this path to holiness and happiness
  • Study of Torah
  • Avodah – Prayer
  • “G’miluit Hasadim” – Acts of loving kindness
  • “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”. It implies you have to have a relationship first to know the other.
  • Fear can be looked at as a shared lovelessness.
  1. Tarek Dawoud (MAPS Interfaith Outreach Coordination Committee)
  • The Prophet Muhammad gazed around and notices that most people are poor.
  • One key Islamic commandment is “To love the poor”
  • Connect and get to know them.
  • American dialogue on the poor is dismissive, often calling them lazy, et al.
  • Bring your children in contact with the poor.
  • The Day of Judgment for the rich as they have to account for all their money.
  • Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah) honoring the poor they need and create a deeper relationship with Allah.
  • In some ways the poorer are more ethical as they are not a

 

Panel Answered Questions

 

  1. What were the contributions of Prophets Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad?

– Moses brought down God’s laws to the Israelites. Also the Torah tells of the

covenants with Noah, Abrahamic and Moses .

– Jesus – gave us the gift of mercy; he gave his life and would not turn away from the needs of the people. His love was non-conditional; Just before the resurrection Jesus uttered” I love you even now”. Love of God has no limits.

– Muhammad – Surrendering to Allah

  1. What factors in America contribute to Islamaphobia? (Tarek)

– Willingness to act solely on fear

– Unwillingness to spend the time to get to know Muslims, their religion and culture.

  1. How do and should we practice our religious principles today?

– (Tarek) – Knowing and helping the poor;

– (Father John) “Listen before you give”; “Reality is greater than the idea or ideal”;

Take time when encountering the poor to talk with them on a personal level to treat them as a unique creation of God”

  1. What wisdom does each tradition give to those suffering?

– (Anson) – God is testing us and our responses to the less fortunate.

– There is much chance in life; Listen and keep your mouth shut.

– (Tarek) Common faith and hope; “with hardship camels ease”

 

 

Panel unanswered questions:

 

  1. Is it possible to separate yesterday’s wisdom from the enduring retelling of yesterday’s insults/aggression/grievous wrongs of your faith?
  2. How can I learn more about Muhammad’s teachings about loving the poor? What are the best sources?
  3. What does your religion say about questioning your faith? Most of us are the religion we are because we were born into it. What does each faith say about this cardinal sin?
  4. If Muhammad himself said in the Hadith that he was not sure he would go to heaven, how can an ordinary human be sure he/she will escape hellfire?

Session one: Seattle Event February 1st

Democratic Values, Religion and Personal Fulfillment

 

Sign above panel: God loves you, and there is nothing you can do about it.

 

Panel Discussion:

Aneelah Afzali, Rabbi Anson Laytner, Rev Katy Ladd

 

Aneelah Afzali – Representing the Muslim Tradition

  • Koran defines righteousness as consisting of both belief and action in this world.
  • Calls for love of brother as well as himself
  • Calls for tolerance and pluralism as seen in covenants that Prophet Mohammad established with both Christian and Jewish tribes
  • Concept of equality as we are all descendants of Adam.
  • Koran repeated calls for truth and justice as divine characteristics important on judgment day

 

Rabbi Anson Laytner – Representing the Jewish Tradition

  • Both Tzedek (Justice) and Tzedakah (Charity) are ways to serve God
  • Jewish experience as slaves in Egypt still resonate after thousands of years and influence Jewish values towards the
  • Sages constantly remind us “Love your neighbor as yourself”
  • Aspects of our American Jewish views of our democrat society have been shaped by
  • The European Enlightenment
  • Puritan struggle for religious freedom resulting in our founding documents such as the Bill of Rights.
  • America’s freedom of religion, and freedom from religion, offers every wisdom tradition an opportunity to address our soul-deep needs Parker Palmer
  • Hundreds of years of experience as a minority
  • Engaged in political dialogue challenging government to be proactive in caring about the other.
  • Battling against prejudice but appreciating American tolerance of religious differences.
  • Maintaining a balance of guiding commandments of Torah/Tanach, The pragmatic rulings of the Rabbis in the Talmud, and American pluralistic principles.

 

Rev Katie Ladd – Representing Christian (Methodist) Tradition

  • 1 John 3:16-18
    • 16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
  • Love and the giving of self for another is central to Christianity and is part of how we should understand righteousness and justice
  • All life comes from death
  • Cornel West is fond of saying that justice is what love looks like in public; tenderness is what it looks like in private.
  • If Christianity is grounded on love and self-giving, then justice must also reflect this value/principle.
  • William Sloane Coffin wrote “Jesus is both a mirror to our humanity and a window to divinity, a window revealing as much of God as is given mortal eyes to see. When Christians see Christ empowering the weak, scorning the powerful, healing the wounded, and judging their tormentors, we are seeing transparently the power of God at work.”

 

 

“No peace among nations without peace among religions. No peace among religions without dialogue between the religions. No dialogue between the religions without investigation of the foundations of the religions.” — Hans Kung

 

Interfaith Scriptural Reflection:

Cultivating integrity, wisdom, and respect in the human family

What: Interfaith Scriptural Reflection (ISR) is a bi-weekly gathering of individuals who seek to deepen their understanding of scriptural teachings from their own and other Abrahamic traditions. Each session, passages related to a common topic will be selected from Hebrew, Christian, and Muslim sacred texts. Topics will focus on teachings for everyday living, and ways of being in the world that have been considered desirable by most cultures, religions, and great literature throughout history.

ISR encourages participants to affirm and pursue their ideals and the virtuous qualities they would like to develop more fully in their everyday lives. ISR seeks to promote greater understanding, respect and friendship among people of different faiths. By consciously applying universal values in choices and relationships, it is hoped that participants will experience a deepening of their faith and greater peace of mind.

God willing, each session will include: an opening prayer; readings from Hebrew, Christian and Muslim scriptures; time for short contemplation/sharing after each reading; personal reflections & intentions; a closing prayer, and light refreshments.

When and Where: A new group will be forming in the fall when details will be determined.

 

If Interested: Please contact us here.

Individuals from any faith or no faith are welcome!

Framing Questions

 

1)     What wisdom teaching(s) do you feel is (are) most relevant and would be most beneficial if  intentionally practiced more in today’s world?  Please select teachings from your own tradition, or from another tradition that you believe are consistent with your own.

 

2)     How might we foster greater awareness, understanding and expression of this wisdom?