Posts Tagged ‘Indiana Interchurch Center’

A snow day (for all intense and purposes)

February 1, 2011

We have a “snow day.” DH was almost gitty last night when there was a possibility that we were going to have a paid day off. The ice is making the roads horrendous to drive on, so our company has taken a “snow day.” I think that snow days (even though, technically, this is an Ice day because it is about 27Degrese [ F] and not much snow accumulation thus, not really a Snow Day) turn adults into kids. They all channel their inner child. And, although DH has never had a “snow day” in his entire childhood, the inner child was channeled anyway. So, he was/is excited to have a day off. We are spending it being lazy and avoiding anything that feels like work which includes (but is not limited to) mini marathon workouts, dishes, cooking, laundry or straightening up the office.How long can those dishes be avoided???? We would spend the whole day inside, but:
The International Interfaith Initiative is hosting an event at our Indiana Interchurch Center.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011, 7:00 – 8:00 PM
“In the news today, we hear many stories—more negative than positive—about Pakistan. Please come and learn more about Pakistan from General S. P. Shahid (retired) as he shares his experience serving in the Pakistani military and working for the public good through non-profit organizations.”

I want to go. I don’t care about the weather. I want to go. Now, I must admit that I feel that most people are a bit over dramatic when it comes to weather and ice. I think that it is because I just have no reference. I don’t drive and I logicize [is that a word?] “It might be a bit slick, but with the salt, it is not that bad!” So, who cares about ice, I want to go. I have high expectations for the event and don’t want to miss it. Not only do I want to hear about the general, I want to meet others who discuss such subjects as cultures and/or interfaith. How exciting!!! I even called the director yesterday to make sure that they were not going to cancel it. He said that if so, there would be a report on the website by 10:00. It is 10:26 A.M. and no sign of cancelation. And, the director even said that he would call me personally if they canceled so I could change public transportation schedules. Oh, public transportation is still running. I think that if public transportation is still running, so should we! Actually, the public transportation drivers confess that they “always run,” no matter what the weather!
Honestly, I am not trying to be unsafe or uncaring to those who are afraid to drive on the ice! Many would feel that I am just being too flippant about this subject. Maybe so. But, my inner child is channeled; too, I’ll kick and scream: — I want to GO!
As 11:08 there was a call canceling the event. The director reported that General Shahid is quite excited to talk to people about his history and involvement in Pakistan and give people another prospective about Pakistan. Maybe they can reschedule tomorrow afternoon during the lunch hour. Would I be available! Sadly not! Guess those dishes are calling my name!

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Hear the Call of III (International Interfaith Initiative)

January 25, 2011

For the last year, I had tried to find interfaith resources and people in interfaith marriages. I found a wonderful group of Muslim/Christian couples. The problem is that their meetings are in Southall, London. Obviously, that is not going to work. I have written on interfaith issues in previous posts and if I was more technically savvy like most of you, I would point you to their links. SORRY! I just don’t know how! And, dh is not interested. (smile)
I even thought about starting a “meetup group” or something similar for
‘intercultural’ couples. This came from a desire for both of us to feel strong in our faith. I wanted a place where we could unabashedly explore and express our faith with others who held similar desires, yet were open to their partner’s faith. But, I had to “find” the couples, first.
There were a few problems with finding interfaith couples that live in Indianapolis or the surrounding areas.
I could not find any interfaith couples at all. Now, I found the Dovetail magazine which talked about interfaith families. But, there was no ‘interfaith family’ in Indiana that I could talk with. And, even if there were: it is most likely one might be catholic or agnostic or atheist. In this case, they don’t have the same challenges as a Muslim and a Christian might have. I have also discovered that
1. just because one is a part of a minority faith, does not necessarily mean that they will accept others from less prominent faiths. Now, I say this, but I know that there are more than six million Muslims (maybe 8 million, my reporting might be off; but at least, six), in the USA. [So, i guess “minority faith status” might be kind of relative], Yet, as I have reported, imran and I have not made lasting connections with either the people at a mosque or at a church. Is some of this disconnectedness due to our status as an “interfaith family?” I don’t have enough experiences with mosque going individuals to make a definitive guess, but I do know that in the case of church going people, the word “interfaith,” is rarely spoken and definitely somehow not applied to Christian/Muslim couples.
2. this is the Midwest, people don’t really like to talk about their faith, unless they are certain that they will be supported. Interfaith is kind of a taboo subject.
3. did I mention that we have trouble with transportation? so searching the state is just not an option for us.
4. ‘faith’ is so subjective. What might be important to me in my faith, might not be as important to you in yours.
5. We are talking about “Muslim” here. At best, his religion is ignored and at worst, it is criticized.
So, here we sit!
And, when Rev Michael and Barb Slater from editors of the “Together magazine and who are CoChairs of the National Association of InterChurch and Interfaith Families
http://www.NAIIFOnline.org
Posted a desire for a Muslim/Christian couple to join the board, I was thrilled.
Now, of course, DH and I are newly married, so I did not suggest us, specifically. But, the thought of another couple bringing their wisdom to bear on such a sensitive subject and the fact that they actually were open to such a Christian/Muslim couple frankly, thrills me to no end. Before now, they had focused more on varying cultures and traditions within more similar faiths. Some will argue that Christianity and Islam are similar, but let’s not get into that debate.
And, to my Hindu, Buddhist and other faith friends (I can’t spell sorry), I realize that, as of yet, Hinduism and other such faiths are not included. I am not sure of the reason, but as of now, the farthest I have seen “interfaith initiatives” go is to Judiism.
So, here’s my Q:
Is there any interfaith couple “Specifically Muslim/Christian,” who would be willing to serve on their board? I have just received information about membership and specifically board membership. We (due to our zealousness concerning interfaith issues and probably because they don’t know any other Muslim/christian couple [passionate or not]), have been extended an invitation to be a board couple. It sounds quite intriguing (to me) and not too burdensome (to DH). yet, I still wonder if “we” are “qualified” to do so.
Whether it be “US” or “SOMEONE ELSE,” , this is an opportunity for the Christian/Muslim couple to be heard. Hey, why not throw a bit of culture (Pakistani) and disability (Blindness) into the mix. I am all for diversity. And it would be a great learning experience and opportunity for us! But, honestly, I admit that another couple might be more qualified for the position and might do a better job at being an effective mouthpiece to show the positive side of an interfaith(Christian/Muslim) marriage, present an objective viewpoint concerning the struggles that an interfaith family faces and give suggestions and tips for those contemplating such an endeavor. They also might be able to dispell the myth of the spiritually stunted confused child; similar to the stereotypes you hear about when people talk about bicultural or multicultural or biracial children. The myth lives on despite the many who can prove its obsurdity!
… …. …
And, just as I was about to post this, DH sends me an email detailing plans from the International Interfaith Initiative to host some seminars at our Indiana Interchurch Center.
What????
We have an Indiana Interchurch Center?
There are five upcoming events in Februrary, alone. Hmmm, maybe February is “interfaith month,” which also happens to be the month in which DH has a birthday. (smile) He received this information from a Muslim email list that he belongs to. It seems that the members of the Muslim Email listserv are a bit more open to interfaith initiatives than their Christian counterparts. Now, I am under no illusions. “interfaith,” does not always mean “interfaith families.” And, I remember how much “interfaith dialog,” and “interfaith celebrating,” went on at the last “interfaith event” that was held close to the Thanksgiving holiday. But, it is a start!