October News and Updates


Interfaith & ecology — Multifaith Green Rule poster & study guide
IACO Main Event Luncheon
Pluralism Project Photo Contest
The Lion of Nairobi – proud to be a Sikh
Another Example: Sikh doctor’s response to brutal hate attack? ‘Love and service’
South Coast Interfaith Council Gala
Interfaith & ecology — Multifaith Green Rule poster & study guide

Interfaith & ecology — Multifaith Green Rule poster & study guide

from Paul McKenna, Scarboro Missions Interfaith Dept.

Scarboro Missions is pleased to share with you the creative work of Greening Sacred Spaces. This Canadian interfaith organization supports houses of worship of various religions in efforts to “green” their buildings.

Their Green Rule Poster features sacred texts from 14 religious traditions – these sacred writings are presented against the visual backdrop of “the tree of life”. This poster is complemented by a very useful 20-page study guide. The guide is an imaginative and practical tool to teach youth and adult members of your faith community and school system about the sacredness of creation in your own faith tradition while reflecting on the ecological texts of other religions.

To view poster and/or order poster and to order study guide, click here:

IACO Main Event Luncheon

IACO Interfaith Association of Central Ohio, a NAIN member organization, is presenting its 21st Annual Main Event Luncheon “From Violence to Peace: Our Interfaith Purpose” on Sunday, October 13, 2013  12:30 noon – 3:30 PM at The Boat House at Confluence Park, 679 W. Spring Street, Columbus, OH 43215. Guest Speaker will be Rev. Donald “Bud” Heckman, Executive Director of Religions for Peace USA [also a NAIN member organization] and an ordained Christian minister from the West Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church.  Funding has been made possible by Puffin Foundation West, Ltd.

To purchase tickets to the Main Event, please mail your payment by check of $30 per ticket to: IACO, 57 Jefferson Avenue, Suite 5, Columbus, OH 43215.  Or you may purchase your ticket online at $31.50 each.

Pluralism Project Photo Contest

The Harvard Pluralism Project invites you and your students, networks, and organizations to participate in our fourth annual Photo Contest. They are looking for high-resolution digital images that convey the vibrancy of religious diversity in the USA. We are particularly interested in images in the following categories:

  • Religious practices and rituals
  • Religious centers, including festivals, center openings, and parades
  • Participation of religious groups in American civic life
  • Interfaith encounter or social action
  • Women’s leadership and participation
  • Emerging leadership within Muslim and Sikh communities
  • Images of the Atheist/Humanist, Bahá’í, Confucian, Daoist, Native American, Shintō, Unitarian Universalist, and Zoroastrian communities in the USA

One grand-prize winner will be selected; the winning photographer will receive a $250 cash prize and an extended exposé in the spotlight on our homepage, pluralism.org.  All winning photos may be featured in the online publication, On Common Ground: World Religions in America (pluralism.org/ocg), on the Pluralism Project website, or on the Pluralism Project Facebook Page and Twitter account. The photographer’s name will be cited.  Further information is also available at: http://pluralism.org/pages/contest

 The Lion of Nairobi – proud to be a Sikh

From longtime NAIN friend Teja Singh, Ph D, Hon. Doctorate (Intercultural Relations), Toronto, Canada

The man who saved 40 lives talks to Zee Media in Nairobi He saved 40 lives in the Nairobi mall. When you give him the credit he cutely smiles and points his finger upwards saying it is Him who did it, not him. He tries to give credit to others but the survivors, 40 of them, say – if he had not been there, perhaps Al Shabaab militants would have butchered them as well. 37 year old Satpal Singh is a Sikh – a Kenyan of Indian origin.

He shared his experience with Zee Media. No amount of words can describe his humility, bravery beyond ordinary, a shining example of unflinching faith in the face of cowardly butchery by the terrorists As booby traps, bombs and blood are cleaned from the Westgate Mall here in Nairobi, Satpal Singh narrates to Zee Media the ordeal of more than 1000 people who were trapped inside the mall on the fateful four days.

Normal human reaction would have been to escape as grenades exploded and men, women and children fell to sprays of bullets. But Satpal tells Zee Media he never thought about running because Sikh religion does not teach you to run. I hold an incredulous expression; I cannot believe my ears as he says even his first reaction was not to run. So, Sikh teachings overcame the primeval survivor instinct to flee even in the face of danger? Intellectualise if you will, is his reply in a few words, but for him it is like this. “He will take care of me. He does his work, I do mine. It is His job to save me, then why should I be worried.”He was face to face with a terrorist who shot twice at him but Satpal cheated death, the bullets barely missed himI met many survivors – many refused to talk on camera; we understood it was a trauma they would rather avoid. What does Satpal feel when he looks back at the terrorist attack that claimed 67 lives? “I feel I could have done more,” he says. So, is there no feeling of accomplishment? “No, we could have saved so many more lives and anyways there was an ex-British officer who was there. He said – you are a Sikh, a warrior, let`s join forces and get people out. We did what we could but still many lives were lost!” No hatred for terrorists. No big words. No ego. There is so much to learn from Satpal Singh. I have interviewed many people as we journalists do, but I have never felt so small, so inferior as a man as I did standing and clicking a photo with Satpal. And Satpal thanks – you have given many of us journalists and Indians and Kenyans a reason to believe that faith can indeed move mountains.

Source – http://zeenews.india.com/exclusive/the-lion-of-nairobi_6677.html


Yet some well-informed Americans (a police officer and a court judge in Connecticut) recently mistakenly assumed a Sikh truck driver a terrorist, because of his religious symbols of turban and small Kirpan! WHY???

Another Example: Sikh doctor’s response to brutal hate attack? ‘Love and service’

A moving post by Valarie Kaur, @valariekaur on TV.MSNBC.com 12:54 PM on 09/26/2013 recounts the story of Dr. Prabhjot Singh, a young professor and doctor, who on September 21, 2013 [ironically UN Peace Day] was brutally attacked by about twenty young men.  He had just dropped his wife and toddler at home to start a walk in Harlem when he heard “Get Osama!”  He was called a “terrorist” as the assailants continued to beat him and fracture his jaw.

The victim happens to be a leading voice asking the government to do more to combat hate in America and a powerful voice for health care justice. He is not only a Sikh committed to service, but a model for a new generation of American leadership.

The day after surgery on his jaw, in an act that many people would see as beyond the call of duty, Dr. Singh appeared Monday before media cameras and called for understanding, education, and compassion. “If I could speak to my attackers, I would ask them if they had any questions about me, the Sikh faith,” he said. “I would invite my attackers to the Gurdwara [Sikh house of worship], make sure they have an opportunity to learn who we are, get to know us. So that they too can get past this.”

You may read the full story at http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/26/sikh-doctors-response-to-brutal-hate-attack-love-and-service/

South Coast Interfaith Council Gala

South Coast Interfaith Council is celebrating their 60th Anniversary Dinner Gala on Sunday November 10, 2013.  Keynote speaker is Rainn Wilson, best known for playing “Dwight” of The Office.  A practicing Bahá’í, he co-founded SoulPancake, a website and production company that seeks to tackle ‘Life’s Big Questions’.  Details may be found at http://www.scinterfaith.org/event/scic-60th-anniversary-gala/

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