We are faith leaders representing many different traditions and congregations who seek to promote understanding, dialogue, and common purpose in our community. This space offers members of our association an opportunity to share reflections with the broader community. The writings represent our individual views, not the positions of the Association or of our respective congregations. We aim to model dialogue that welcomes a diversity of ideas and perspectives grounded in friendship and respect.
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going to write this blog about something different, but the recent events,
especially the most recent shooting in a San Diego synagogue on the last day of
Passover have totally occupied my thoughts. I am
preparing a small service for my students for Yom HaShaoah- Holocaust Remembrance
Day.We usually light a candle and read
some poems and sing a song.I felt I
needed to do more this year.The
Holocaust is not some distant past event of history.The students have seen videos of Nazis marching
on the streets of American cities yelling anti-Semitic slogans.Houses of worship are targets of violence of
hate all over the globe, including 2 synagogues here in our country. These acts
of hate and ignorance must be confronted head on, and Holocaust Remembrance Day
seems the perfect day to begin. As a
clergy member, these recent events have left me bereft and downtrodden.My faith is tested, and my sadness is all encompassing.Of course, I see the goodness in those who
rise up against such hate.He…
It is common practice for Unitarian Universalist ministers and their congregations to include in our Letter of Agreement (contract) provision for a sabbatical every five to seven years, accrued at a rate of one month per year, for up to six months. I’m in my ninth year of service with the UU Fellowship at Stony Brook and last year, finally, I felt the time was right to take a sabbatical. So last winter, January through March, I left my congregation to it’s own good governance, with guest coverage for every service I would have led, and emergency pastoral care coverage by various other UU ministers on our island through an exchange program we formed just for that purpose. I had two aims for the use of my time: a combo solo (with spouse) and group-tour trek down the National and State(s) Civil Rights Trail in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, and a deep immersion into Jewish studies. In my pursuit of the dive into Judaism, I joined North Shore Jewish Center’s (NSJC) sixteen week Juda…
At last night's community forum, Belief and Truth from a Multifaith Perspective: Finding Unity in Diversity, many expressed a desire to continue these kinds of conversations and to take action together for building bridges in our community. These are some of the ideas that were shared for next steps:
Find something concrete that we can work on together in our communityCome out with a statement to the community about this gatheringHave clergy visit other houses of worship for teaching and conversation Invite people of other faiths or no faith traditions into our houses of worshipBring younger people into our interfaith programsAsk elected officials to talk about this kind of workIdentify root causes of hatred and address themEncourage media coverage of our programs
What other ideas do you have for next steps? Please share them in the comments.