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Adult Education continues with Interfaith Study Series

Lifting Up Our Hearts: Spiritual Practices Across Faith Traditions

Wednesdays: November 7, 14, and 28, and December 5 (no meeting on November 21)
7:00 -8:30 p.m. in the Parlor

Often when we hear the words “interfaith dialogue,” we think of discussions about what our various traditions believe, and about areas in which we agree (and, especially, those in which we don’t agree). In this series, we will focus instead on our experiences of and mutual desires for the sacred as members of a variety of faith communities, and on the ways we express them in our everyday lives.

Each evening will explore the spiritual practices of a different faith group, with speakers representing

  • Christian: Rev. Dr. Steve Simmons and Spiritual Director Janet Bickford, First Presbyterian Church
    of Bethlehem
  • Jewish: Alan Juda, Rabbi Emeritus, Congregation Brith Sholom
  • Muslim: Dr. Halim Calis, Respect Graduate School
  • Buddhist: Beth Songer, ordained Priest

This event is free and open to all – no registration is needed.

NOTES from the first session on Christianity – from Linda Robertson:

More than 30 people attended the opening session where Jan Bickford, Spiritual Director, and Pastor Steve Simmons discussed spirituality in the Christian religion. Prayer is a keystone of Christianity; prayer that Calvin called “the opening of the heart before God”.

From Anne Lamont’s comment that Prayer  is “Thanks. Help. Wow.” to “I am Thou” of Martin Buber, we went on a rollercoaster through the many kinds of prayer. Jan led us in an example of Ignatian spirituality of the everyday with ‘the Examen” –  an example of examining the gratitudes of your day.

From the session on Judaism – from Linda Robertson:

Almost 50 people gathered last night for “How Do You Approach the Sacred”, when Rabbi Emeritus Alan Juda (Congregation Brith Sholom) shared the devotional practices of Judaism. He read examples of prayers and petitions found in the Jewish Prayer Book and said most Jewish prayers are written using ‘we’, not ‘I’ and are about community. Even though many of the prayers are spoken daily and have words that do not change, the person doing the praying considers the words differently as s/he passes through different life stages. He explained the seriousness with which Jews take the study of the Torah, Talmud, and other sacred texts as an especially important way of connecting with God.

Join us for the next session (November 28) when Dr. Halim Calis from Respect Graduate School speaks about Muslim faith practices.


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