Interfaith Clergy Forum
New in 2012-13 is a group designed for clergy, those leading congregations and/or doing professional clergy work. There are hundreds of such people in our county. Many get together with members of their own denominations. Many are also looking for opportunities to get together with those outside of their own tradition.
This group has been meeting a couple of times a year, usually with a specific focus in mind. They meet at the location of one of the attendees.
Two such meetings this winter centered around the expressed desire to support those religious groups that have been the focus of hostility and marginalization since January’s national election. The following is a statement of support coming from a working group of religious leaders and supported by the IRT Board of Directors.
March 2017 Statement:
In light of the strain in national and local discourse around issues of religious intolerance, victim blaming and heightened national surveillance of those increasingly considered ‘other’, the Interfaith Round Table of Washtenaw County takes a strong stance of affirming the beauty, truth and the unique and important contributions of all voices affirming the golden rule alive in our community. These are attributes that undergird all religious, spiritual and philosophical traditions practiced in our community.
First and foremost, we support our Muslim and Jewish brothers and sisters and affirm that the tenets of their faiths call for justice and compassion for all. We also continue to support immigrants and refugees here in our area and in our country at large. The statement that most of us are immigrants is so true, and as people of faith we desire and uphold the worth and dignity of all. We stand firmly against all hate crimes directed at people who are being marginalized. Fear can not be the driver for how we engage with each other. Every religious and spiritual practice holds up the golden rule as standard for human relations. As members of the IRT, we want to affirm this as true and at the base of our mutual practices, now more than ever.
Second, we commit to exploring ALL of the possible ways we can expand our voices in regard to tolerance, acceptance and appreciation of that which every faith tradition brings to our world. Building on the IRT’s history of employing deep conversation and constantly working to build bridges of understanding and respect for our difference, we will keep asking the hard questions, and increase our efforts to work with other organizations that stand against discrimination, oppression and fear-based communications.
The Interfaith Round Table has committed to taking out an ad in the Ann Arbor Observer to let our mission be known to the broader community, and to alert people to the importance of deep conversations around the contentious issues with which we are facing.
As particular faith communities we …… (individual congregational actions, decision, next steps can be added here)
One Human Family
Please consider this for your congregation.
The IRT in conjunction with The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice in sponsoring a banner and outreach campaign to counter anti-Muslim and anti-refugee attitudes heard so frequently in the media today. The banners are 3 x 8 feet and read “One Human Family: We support refugees and our Muslim neighbors”. Banners cost $100 each. For more information, go to www.1humanfamily.org. Yard signs with similar wording are also available.
Suggested donations – $5-10.