Faith in Action

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Last night I attended what was called the Faith in Action Summit put on by the Missoula Interfaith Collaborative (MIC). As our sangha’s representative with the MIC, and one of our faith leaders (as an ordained Order of Interbeing member), I was also asked to say a few words as part of this event. Among a handful of other clergy members from different congregations we were advised to craft an address, totaling 2 minutes and 30 seconds, on the following prompt:

Instruction:

Given our current societal context:

A prominent mark of our culture is a falling away from religious communities and practices.  Yet the value of social justice and service to the community remains strong, especially among young people.
Many faith leaders understand that our faith communities are in a time where deep transformation is necessary.
A central teaching of all our faith traditions is to be people marked by our call to seek justice and love our neighbor.
Paint a picture of what it may look like in 5 to 7 years if you could build the congregation that you hope to be.  Note: (You have unlimited resources and everyone that needs to will say yes to your vision).
  • Please be specific (What activities is the congregation doing, how is the building used or is there a building, what are the staff doing, how is the congregation known in the broader community)
  • Be imaginative

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For vs. Against

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Last night there was a state wide peace march at 5:00pm in five different cities around Montana, organized in the wake of the fear building up in our area around the possibility of becoming an area of welcome for refugee families affected by distant, raging wars. Recently, over 500 people packed into a school gymnasium in Hamilton, MT to attend a town hall meeting to help address a proposed letter to be sent by our state Governor, Steve Bullock, and our congressional delegates, to President Obama’s administration disapproving the bringing in of refugees. Having heard from someone in attendance at this meeting and in reading the news the overall energy was infused with hatred, scathing remarks, hostility, and, ultimately, underneath it all, fear. It was a meeting that could’ve easily turned violent and was not an entirely safe place for those in opposition to the vast majority in attendance at the meeting, who were adamantly against refugees coming into not only our particular part of the state but the country in general. The state wide march was in response, largely, to this town hall meeting.

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