A meeting of the National Muslim-Christian Initiative, a major dialogue between Muslim and Christian leaders, took place in late March, gathering together nearly 40 Christian and Muslim senior representatives from around the country to engage issues of concern to both communities, including deliberate discussion of Islamphobia in the US and religious extremist ideology abroad. The meeting included a public evening program with more than 100 people present, on the intersection of religious freedom and respect for what others hold sacred.Read more
On July 30, 2014, I received an email from the Consulate stating: “We have received authorization and your visa can be issued at the Swiss Consulate General in San Francisco.” At that moment, I was so excited and began jumping for joy in my small apartment in Denver. Within no time I was ready to travel abroad and study for a Complementary Certificate of Ecumenical Studies at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey/University of Geneva. “Switzerland, here I come!” was my exclamation.Read more
On Tuesday, an act of senseless violence ended the lives of three students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina: Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; her husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
Regardless of the motivation of this particular tragedy, it has very clearly highlighted concern in the Muslim community about rising anti-Muslim sentiment. Now is the time for those of us in the faith community who are not Muslim to stand with our Muslim brothers and sisters.
We, the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, call on clergy and religious communities to remember the lives of the three American Muslims killed in Chapel Hill this week by incorporating scriptural calls to love into religious services this weekend. Use and follow #SpreadLove to amplify the impact of our combined voices of solidarity, condolence and support.Read more
The National Council of Churches joins the world in grief and outrage at ISIS’s executions of Japanese hostages Haruna Yukawa and Kenji Goto, and Jordanian hostage Moath al-Kasasbeh. The utter bankruptcy of this extremist ideology, which looks to horrific violence to prop up its credibility, cannot be allowed to stand any longer. We join with people of faith and goodwill all across the world in condemning these horrific, inhumane acts, and call upon the nations to join together to eliminate this threat.Read more
"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul." (Hymn written by: Horatio Gates Spafford) While doing a rough search of the word "peace", I saw over 340 entries in the NRSV version of the Bible. I am sure that number is not all encompassing. Noticeably, not all of the ways that the word was used were calming and soothing to my soul. Or, more importantly, to the protagonist of the verse or passage. I began to wonder why such a common word could mean so many things when said in so many ways.Read more
We are pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Angel Rivera-Agosto as the new Executive for Latin America and the Caribbean. Angel comes to this position with a vast amount of experience, knowledge and commitment to the work within Latin America and the Caribbean related to churches, ecumenical and interfaith organizations, communities and other partners within the ecumenical movement.Read more
In Western Oklahoma, a pastor notes that the highway that travels past the town of 12,000 where he serves is a major thoroughfare for slave transport. In Ghana, a man promises to educate and care for a group of small boys from a fishing village only to force them into back-distorting labor. In Bangkok, a young girl is tied to her bed. She has no money, no ID, and no way out. She has been deprived of food, clothing, and sleep. Her basic needs are barely met. She is forced to have sex from 10 to 20 or more men per nightRead more