Friday January 19, 2018

Interfaith & Ecumenism

By Brad Seligmann, Campus Minister for Interfaith Engagement

As we start off the new year, many people resolve to strengthen their friendships or build better relationships. It is perhaps no coincidence that the beginning of the year is marked by two events that encourage us to cross lines of religious difference and build better relations with our fellow Christians and those of other religions as well.

This Sunday marks the middle of the Week of Prayer for Christian unity, a global ecumenical observance focused on prayer and dialogue to strengthen relations among Christians of different denominations and traditions. This year is the 110th annual observance, recognized by Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox, and other Christians around the world.

In a similar vein, the first week of February has been designated as World Interfaith Harmony Week. It is a time for people of different religious traditions to get to know one another, learn about both their unique differences and shared common values, and find ways to collaborate to make their community better. This year we will mark the week by hosting dialogue visits to different places of worship. More details in the weeks to come!

In the coming semester, look for interfaith programs such as visits to places of worship, visiting speakers, and other opportunities to dialogue. As Pope Francis has said, "interreligious dialogue cannot be limited merely to the few, to leaders of religious communities, but must also extend as far as possible to all believers, [particularly] young men and women who are called to build the future."

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