Horizons magazine cover, July/August 2013, shows children
of different faiths and backgrounds looking at butterflies together
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Current Presbyterian News
Consultation on an interreligious stance for the PC(USA) mulls ideas
A group of some sixty-five persons gathered at Stony Point Center, New York, on September 19 to 21 for a consultation leading toward a proposed PC(USA) stance statement on interreligious relations. Convened by the General Assembly Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, the consultation was planned by a committee under the leadership of Rodney Petersen and Annie Rawlings (pictured right below). Discussion groups provided time for reflection and input from all participants. Plenaries heard panel speakers, including Shanta Premawardhana (pictured, far left) and Wesley Ariarajah (pictured, near left), both former leaders of the World Council of Churches interreligious programming; Presbyterian Heidi Hadsell (pictured, middle left), president of Hartford Seminary; and three persons from other faith traditions, Simran Jeet Singh, Aisha Al-Adawiya, and Yehezkel Landau.
Presbyterian Women's magazine features neighbors of many faiths
Horizons, the magazine of Presbyterian Women, dedicated its July/August 2013 to "God's Call to Community with Neighbors of Many Faiths." Six feature articles explore a variety of issues -- ranging from ways to share faith while respecting others to making an interfaith response to violence against women. A listing of General Assembly actions concerning interreligious relations covers selected items from 1972 to 2010.
Relationships of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Stony Point incorporates interfaith involvement into its basic life
The Stony Point Center, a Presbyterian conference center about an hour out of New York City, has been home to an interfaith "Community of Living Traditions" for the past four years. In the fall of 2012, it concluded that the Community of Living Traditions be directly incorporated into the center's life, without any distinction of having a separate existence. As the center goes through a transition process that will result in it becoming an independent, constituent corporation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) has asked that its mission of hospitality and nurture of a multifaith movement for peace and justice be "accomplished in a way that clearly affirms Presbyterian values and priorities so that it supports the overall commitments of the denomination." See the center's 2012 annual report.
Ecumenical initiatives with Muslims in the U.S. in which the PC(USA) participates
Presbyterians and their partners in mission relate to people of other faiths
Palm, Young, F. Adeney Risakotta, Dykstra, Kassab
World Mission, a division of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, responds to three critical, among them witness to God's love in Jesus Christ. In doing so, it affirms, "We will only witness when we can do so through a respectful and authentic engagement with people of other faiths." It is not hard to imagine interfaith work relating as well to its emphases on reconciliation in the midst of violence and combatting root causes of poverty. Do you want to follow the work of Presbyterian mission around the world in interfaith efforts? Here are some sample people and some institutions with which Presbyterians partner:
* Cobbie Palm works alongside the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, where he promotes peace and reconciliation through his advocacy role in Christian-Muslim peace talks.
* Rebecca Young teaches in a seminary in Jakarta, Indonesia, and works to help her students be faithful and respectful witnesses as they go out to serve in a country with many religious traditions.
* Bernie and Farsijana Adeney Risakotta serve in Indonesia, where he is the director of the innovative Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies and she is director of a center for research and community development. They work together with Christians and Muslims toward building a just society. They are in the U.S. from July to December, 2013, and are available to visit congregations who invite their presence.
* Lyle Dykstra was assigned to work with his wife Terry in Kenya after having spent over 20 years in the U.S. engaged in interfaith dialogue and activity.
* Princeton Seminary graduate Najla Kassab, the Christian education staffer for the Evangelical Church of Syria-Lebanon, has highlighted the role of reconciliation and dialogue, rather than violence, at this time in the Middle East's history. This is a specific task of the churches in the broader society.
Links to interfaith organizations
Click on logo to go to organization's web site. Click on name to go to news on this web site.
Links to more interfaith organizations on other web sites:
At the Charter for Compassion web site
At the North American Interfaith Network web site
At the searchable directory maintained by Interfaith Voices for Peace and Justice
A multifaith calendar, showing dates for observances of various religions
An additional multifaith calendar
On this web site:
Interfaith Principles: a statement adopted by the PC(USA) General Assembly
A Model Statement of Interfaith Commitment: a locally-prepared statement
On the PC(USA) web site:
Interfaith Relations: information and news from the PC(USA) office of interfaith relations
Interfaith Toolkit: resources for reflection and how-to-do suggestions
A Theological Understanding of the Relationship between Christians and Jews: a PC(USA) statement (1987)
Christians and Jews: the text of a brochure summarizing PC(USA) understandings
Christians and Muslims: the text of a brochure summarizing PC(USA) understandings