seamick a-z

faith, hope, & love — joy, harmony, & peace

pluralism, peace, & neighbors – Reblog: Because You’re My Neighbors

frienemies:

“I live at the assisted living facility just up the road, and every day I walk past this mosque.  I wanted to come here today to meet you because you’re my neighbors.  I want to know my neighbors.”

This was said by an elderly white woman, probably in her late 70s, at the Open House held by the Denver Islamic Society today.  When I heard these words, I nearly started crying.  This woman, who by every metric imaginable was the last person to attend an Open House at a mosque, absolutely floored me.  I was grateful to get out of the house and attend this event, as I am eager to establish new relationships with Muslims in Denver (we moved just two months ago).  But this woman, whose life consists of taking walks and eating planned meals, had no reason to take such a risk.

But she did.

Other people…

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interfaith experiences, peace, & understanding through music, marriage, & ramadan

For the past couple of years, I have really enjoyed reading the Interfaith Ramadan blog series created and curated by the amazing Sarah Ager. In fact, I now look forward to it every time Ramadan rolls around! This year, I was given the incredible opportunity and honor to participate by adding my own personal contribution! I am grateful to Sarah for the invitation to share some of my thoughts, perspectives, and experiences related to interfaith issues. I hope you will read this, as well as all of the other interesting and insightful posts by a wonderfully diverse group of contributors.

Interfaith Progressions Toward Peace and Understanding Through Music and Marriage

 

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Christians, Muslims, & Solidarity – Reblog: Unequally Yoked: A Christian Apology for Solidarity

Another amazing post from by J. Robert Eagan on his blog!

Perhaps this excerpt will pique your interest.  Of course, if you’re like me, the camel photo might be enough to capture your attention.  (I ❤ camels!!)  😉

“Many Evangelicals cite 2 Corinthians 6:14 as a defense against solidarity:
“Do not be mismatched (unequally yoked) with unbelievers. For what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness? Or what fellowship is there between light and darkness?”
Most often this text is used to discourage Christians from marrying non-Christians, although this is not the context within which this verse was written.”

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peace, friendship, & overcoming hatred – Reblog: We DO Have a Hate Problem

Such an important message.

frienemies:

“Hey, look, it’s a problem, we have a problem. We have a problem, and it’s going to be solved, but we have to understand the problem. We have to know the problem, and before we do anything and before we do anything stupid, we have to know what we’re doing. So we do have a real problem. We do have a real problem. There is such a level of hatred that you can’t even believe it. There’s a hatred, a deep-seated hatred. We have to find out where it’s coming from and what can we do about it?” ~ Donald Trump

Without context, this is a statement that we can all agree upon, right?  We do have an unbelievable problem with hatred in our country, and really in our world.  Donald Trump is absolutely correct.  But he doesn’t mean what he’s saying, at least not completely.

Donald Trump said these…

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waiting, hoping, & loving – Reblog: Hope & Peace: Advent Reflections

Beautiful and timely message of hope, love, and peace.

frienemies:

During Advent, year after year, Christians spend a month in expectation. We try to put ourselves in the shoes of the people of Israel in the first century. There is a buzz about the coming Messiah, the one who will rescue his people from oppression and violence, and will establish a Kingdom of Peace that will last forever.

But he isn’t here yet.

Peace is still out of reach.

Hope is waning.

We sit in darkness, waiting for the light of Love to shine, to guide our feet on pathways of peace.

This year, that hope for peace seems just as distant as it must have felt in first century Israel.

But I have reason to hope. All across our nation, people are choosing to set aside fear and to seek to understand those they fear the most. While politicians paint a dark and frightening picture of the future, normal…

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unity, trinity, & miracles – Reblog: …And Many Understandings of God

I have a feeling that I’m going to always want to reblog all of the posts on this particular blog. Perhaps you all should just start following it. 😉

Here are a few of my favorite parts.

“We are not as far apart as we would like to believe.  For starters, consider the school of thought in Islam that affirms God’s knowledge and power as being co-eternal with God.  Then consider the Christian concepts of Word and Spirit, and how they interact with knowledge and power…

Or, consider the way that Jesus is described in the Qur’an.  He is called both the Word of God (kalimat Allah) and a spirit from God (ruh Allah).  The concepts of God, his Word, and his spirit are familiar to Muslims.  When we describe God as God, his Word, and his spirit, we are not only faithfully describing our understanding of the one God of all creation, but we are speaking in terms that are familiar and understandable to many Muslims.

We would do well to consider how we can allow for people to worship and believe in God while describing God in different ways.  The reality is that we don’t really know a good way of speaking of God.  God’s transcendence doesn’t speak to our experience of God in creation, in relationships, or in everything.  God’s immanence doesn’t speak to our understanding that we don’t really understand anything.  The only way I see that we can peacefully and graciously engage in conversations across Christian/Muslim lines is to honor the desire in the other to know and serve the same God while describing God in different ways.  Perhaps we might even learn new ways of speaking of God in the process.

That would truly be a miracle.”

frienemies:

“Christians and Muslims do in fact worship the same God– but that doesn’t mean everything you’re assuming we mean when we say it. It’s not a confession of Unitarian Universalism.”

Benjamin Corey,Yes, Christians and Muslims Worship the Same God (But Here’s What That Means & Doesn’t)

Yesterday, I wrote about how we can think theologically about the question ‘Is Allah the same as God?’  Benjamin Corey, quoted above, wrote a great article today on Patheos (linked above) explaining the difference between the object of worship (God) and the ways that the object (God) is described or understood.  I would like to add to this discussion for two reasons – in saying Allah is God I am not saying that all paths lead to heaven, and I think that we need to consider a broad scope of theological nuance that this conversation has had in Christianity and Islam.

Tawhid

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faith, commonalities, & solidarity – Reblog: No god But God

frienemies:

Do Christians and Muslims worship the same God?  If not, why not?  This simple question is and has been the source of much debate, especially in recent years within Christian circles.  Some Christians will make the argument that Allah is not God, either based on their understanding of the attributes of Allah in the Qur’an, or based on the assumption that Allah is actually the pagan moon god of Arabia.  Others insist that Allah is God, but that we differ from Muslims on the nature of God.  This is actually a very important theological issue that we would do well to understand from a variety of standpoints.

First, we need to understand how revolutionary this belief in one God was in the time of Muhammad in 7th century Arabia.  Prior to Muhammad’s rise to prominence, the Arabian peninsula was largely polytheistic and pagan.  The Arabs worshipped upwards of 360 gods…

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Old ways and new directions

She sounds like me in my last year of college!! Maybe things don’t change as much as one might think in 12 or 13 years… 🙂 (How on earth can it have been that long since I graduated from Mary Washington? Reading this blog takes me right back there like it was yesterday…)

Kenzie Patterson

IMG_1970Top and pants from Free People, Necklace from Lululemon

Growing up, I was a pretty chill kid. My mom said that I rarely cried as a baby, and I was always just happy-go-lucky and excited to be alive.

I don’t know whether it was when I began university, became addicted to social media, or just generally gained more life experience, but somewhere down the line, I lost some of that innocence and lightness. I’ve become so wrapped up in what others think about me and living my life in an orderly, responsible way that I’ve forgotten how to relax and have fun, even when I’m in a setting that should be relaxing and fun.

I’ve especially felt this way since this school year started. I’m in my last year of university, and like most people my age, I’m having an existential crisis of sorts. I’m trying to find my place…

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peace, bikes, & cowbells – International Day of Peace and the UCI Road World Championships

Today is the International Day of Peace! International Day of Peace

“Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21 September. The General Assembly has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.

The theme of this year’s commemoration is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which aims to highlight the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace. The work of the United Nations would not be possible without the initial partnerships that were active in its creation and the thousands of partnerships each year between governments, civil society, the private sector, faith-based groups and other non-governmental organizations that are needed to support the Organization in achieving its future goals.

The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.”

The International Day of Peace was established in 1981.
(That’s when I was established too! ;-))


Also, this whole week, the UCI Road World Championships (aka the big bike race) are taking place right here in Richmond!

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My wonderful church was perfectly positioned to participate in the fun and excitement yesterday.  Richmond’s First Baptist Church “welcomed the world” with open doors, open hearts, and beautiful world flags!  Church volunteers showed loving hospitality to the many spectators by offering free water and cowbells!!!  (One of the most fun things that I’ve learned this week is that, in addition to cheering and clapping, ringing cowbells is one of the most common ways to encourage the cyclists at events like this.  I got a fever… More cowbell?  More cowbell!)

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These symbols and acts of cooperation and love (globally and locally), despite the struggles and suffering happening here and around the world, are bringing much joy and hope.
My heart is happy. 🙂  Peace. ❤

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All we need is love, world peace, and more cowbell!

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peace, interfaith, & culture — RVA Peace Festival 2015!

Such a wonderful peace-centered, multicultural, interfaith event! 🙂 I’m so thankful to have discovered it a couple years ago, and grateful to be even more involved with it this year!

Richmond Peace Festival 2017

Download our RVA PF 2015 flyer

This festival aims to build community and understanding in the Richmond area. This multicultural, interfaith celebration features entertainment, arts and crafts, food, exhibits, and activities and crafts for children. RVA Peace Festival sponsors include the Interfaith Council of Greater Richmond, Richmond Peace Education Center, the Center for Interfaith Reconciliation at St. Stephen’s and Seventh Street Christian Church.

Free to the public and will be held rain or shine!

RVA Peace Festival 2015

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Your portal to the world of Sufi writing, classical and contemporary. Welcome to the Sufi Book and Music Blog which will direct you to the Sufi Bookstore through links in each post. Step in and look around the many sections here that all relate to an aspect of Sufism. If you know of any books that are not here then you are welcome to write and let me know so I can add them. The idea of this site is to bring together in one place as many books on the subject of Sufism as possible so that it is easier for you to discover what is available without doing long searches. So take your time and browse as you would in any library or book store. As I speak of the books available in the store so it is also an opportunity to look at different aspects of the Sufi path and the many friends who have trodden this path in the past and in the present day.

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