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Posts Tagged ‘Swedenborgian’

I had a feeling we were in for a wonderful treat when we stepped into the front door at the New Church. “Welcome! I’m Eric.” A quick hand-shake and inquiry about each of our names, and we all knew we were sincerely welcome. A dozen Christian Scientists from all over Chicago (including Linda and Sandy from St. Louis) came to visit the “Family Service” at the

A friendly and warm welcome for the Christian Scientists at the New Church "Family Service"

New Church. We wanted to visit specifically for the purpose of listening to others we don’t know well and to engage in meaningful interfaith dialogue.

Live musicians – including two guitars, violin, drum, piano, and vocalists – played for us as we got settled and ready for worshipping with this warm and welcoming community.  Kids of all ages snuggled in with their parents, and after the first song (not really a hymn, but a very singable song), we heard an opening talk from Pastor Peter Buss on the subject of hearing. With props including a high stack of chairs and a rector-set type of construction, the Pastor explained how good listening protects us from dangerous situations. Listening to the voice of wisdom, we wouldn’t climb the stack of wobbly chairs, and listening to the voice of good guidance, we can construct useful things.  The sermon, aimed specifically for the kids, was clearly engaging for us adult-kids too. (more…)

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Maybe the first question that comes up concerning interfaith activities is, “what’s in it for me?” That’s important, for sure. And yet, “how does it help me give better?” also plays a big part in the world of interfaith discussions. Our expectation is that both receiving and giving will be big incentives for getting involved in our Interfaith Preparation meeting on May 1 (10:30 am at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Palatine).

Starting with the benefits for ourselves: Sincere conversations with those of other faith traditions bring out beautiful expressions of their devotion. Whatever motivates them to praise God, grow spiritually, love others, and be humble about it, is an inspiration to the rest of us. Careful listening to others also helps us understand the meaning of their lives. It’s pretty obvious that a better understanding of our neighbor inspires trust and strengthens relationships. Who doesn’t need an understanding neighbor, when so much of the world we live in doesn’t understand minority religious convictions? (more…)

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