Sunday April 24, 2016

Interfaith Dialogue and Ministry

By Julie Benedetto

Interfaith ministry and relationships have paved an important path across my life that I didn’t expect. In my undergrad years, I studied abroad in Central America and it was my first experience of being the only Catholic. After graduating, I learned a lot about how to expand my horizons by building relationships with people of different faiths, and this has brought me back into this position as Graduate Assistant for Interfaith Ministry. Throughout this semester, I have learned that so much of what humans of different backgrounds or religions are often saying about social justice or the world is the same; it’s just being said with different words.

Engaging in interfaith relationships and ministry pushes me to look beyond myself. It challenges the way that I look at the world, and it helps me to appreciate those around me in new ways. Building interfaith relationships allows me to see truth through someone else’s lens. Dialogue allows for growth in myself, and creates the space for people to ask why I believe what I do. It helps me to appreciate the reasons behind their faith and the love we all have to share in our various beliefs and cultures.

With interfaith work, I have seen the light in others in more intentional ways, and it has helped me to really claim my own truth. By claiming this truth, I can move forward in confidence with a gentler heart for encountering those different from me. This is why interfaith dialogue and ministry is so important to me. 

- Julie Benedetto, Interfaith Ministry GA

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