Civil Discourse Resources For Faith Communities from Faithful Reform
The Faithful Reform in Health Care Coalition has provided resources to help your community of faith on our society's journey toward shalom. They say,
"As political tensions remain high, we affirm that one of the greatest gifts that people of faith can offer to the health care justice movement is the ability to create space for dialogue and civil discourse. Because of our willingness to talk in the midst of our rich diversity, we are uniquely positioned to help move our national focus from debate about what is politically prudent or economically feasible to dialogue which embraces compassion and justice and the common good.
Interfaith Vigils Against Violence
Local and Regional Ecumenical and Interfaith Colleagues - Join In
Interfaith national groups have invited all who wish to assist in planning "Vigils Against Violence" across the nation. (This has become a working title for the initiative but constructive suggestions for alternative titles are welcome.)
The national groups (Jewish Community Public Affairs, National Council of Churches, Islamic Society of North America, & U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops) have been encouraged by local & regional constituents & partners to move forward with this initiative. A national coordinating group will be developing a sample flier, a sample press release, a program template with vigil ideas and prayers, and potentially a website.
The hope is that local Christian ecumenical councils, Jewish Federations or other Jewish community groups, local Islamic groups, any other local faith communities, and, of course, interfaith councils will work together to coordinate vigils in as many communities as possible. Each local community will have a different coalition and configuration. It would be good to start reaching out to key faith leaders order to develop a coordinating group for your community.
What you can do at this stage:
1) Please write to indicate your interest in participating (if you have not already done so) and let us know if there are others in your area we should be including in our communications, from any faith community.
2) It would be good to have a couple of local/regional folks who are willing to be involved in the national coordination so local/regional voices are part of the planning - please let me know if you are able to be involved in this capacity over the next week or two. This would likely require reviewing and contributing to resources and participating in conference calls.
3) If you can share existing prayers, worship services, songs, or other materials that might be useful for these vigils, please forward them to me and I will share them with the national coordinators. These could be interfaith in nature or rooted in particular traditions. The national coordinators will sort through these as they develop suggested materials. (Please indicate whether permission is granted to reproduce the materials. If the copyright is not owned by you or your group, please indicate who owns the copyright or, at minimum, give the source of the materials.)
Liaison for Local and Regional Ecumenism
National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA
475 Riverside Dr., Suite 800
New York, NY 10115-0050
Phone: 212-870-3417 or 646-596-4750
Mourning, Healing, Hope Resources
The AZ Ecumenical Council's website www.aecunity.net, will host a page specifically related to what happened in Tucson but addressed to all faith communities in the state and country. The AEC calls it "Mourning, Healing, and Hope" after the name of their several interfaith services that held this week. Starting today, it will be updated with new materials as they become available.
Washington D.C. Interfaith Prayer Service for Rep. Giffords
Others Killed or Wounded in Tucson, AZ and
Their Families, Those Working on the Hill, and
For Greater Civility and Respect
The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington (IFC) Advancing Justice, Building Community, Nurturing Understanding www.ifcmw.org_ (http://www.ifcmw.org/) held an interfaith prayer service on Capitol Hill for the victims and families of victims of the Arizona massacre.
As many know, one of the victims is U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords who is a Jewish American and the first Jewish US Representative from Arizona. We pray for her full recovery and healing. Our thoughts and prayers include all the victims and the families of the victims.
We reaffirm our commitment to civil discourse and the rejection of violence.
We pray for the safety of all public servants as well as for the healing of the Nation and the protection of the democratic process and public civic engagement.