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OCTOBER 2009 I NTERFAITH C ONNECTION Interfaith Works is an association of congregations, affiliated non-profit

OCTOBER 2009

INTERFAITH CONNECTION

Interfaith Works is an association of congregations, affiliated non-profit organizations and individuals. Our purpose is to promote interfaith understanding, and serve the community through charitable, social and educational endeavors.

RAMADAN, MONTH OF THE QURAN

Adapted from www.whyislam.org by Mustafa Mohamedali, Interfaith Coordinator, Islamic Center of Olympia and Interfaith Works Board Member (This is the second of a two-part article on Ramadan, which began on August 22 and ends September 20. Part one was printed in the September issue).

God began revealing the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) during Ramadan in the year 610 C.E. The Holy Quran is one of the most-read books in the world for it is often read, re-read and memorized in its original language, Arabic. In Ramadan, in addition to fasting, Muslims are encouraged to focus as much time as possible on reading, listening to and understanding the teachings of the Quran. One of the ways Muslims get closer to the Quran during Ramadan is through a long congregational prayer offered in the late evening. During this prayer it is customary that the entire Quran is recited over the course of the entire month, led by a Hafiz Imam.

God says in the Holy Quran: O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may

(learn) self-restraint Ramadan

is the

(month) in which was sent down the Quran, as a guide to mankind, also clear

(Signs) for guidance and judgment

(Continued on page 2)

A TASTEFUL AUCTION:

FUNdraiser for Interfaith Works

You’re sure to be licking your lips and tapping your toes at this fun event. Make some new friends. Taste some amazing desserts. Hear some awe- some music! Oh yeah, and help raise some funds for Interfaith Works at the same time!

Live music by Artesian Rumble Arkestra (ARA), includes former IW board member Richard Lopez. Folks from many local faith communities will be there for the fun. And you will be HAPPY to spend your money on delicious desserts and some very interesting, even unique items.

Marvelous and mouth-watering desserts will be available for tasting as well as auctioned. Just some of the other items available include a hand-crafted quilt, handmade scarves, a gift basket of local foods, harmonica lessons, and an authentic Stumpf Fiddle that must be seen to be believed.

Who says fundraising has to be intimidating? We are going to have a blast at Interfaith Works’ first ever Tasteful Auction. Bring your family and friends for an entertaining and tasty evening as we support the mission and goals of Interfaith Works. Admission is free; Saturday, October 10, 7 p.m. at First Chris- tian Church (7 th & Franklin) in downtown Olympia.

(Continued on page 2)

Ramadan (Continued from page 1)

(between right and wrong). So every one of you who is present (at his home) during that month should spend it in fasting

(Al-Quran 2:183,185).

Benefits Of Fasting

Fasting makes the individual more aware of the many bounties of God. The hunger and thirst remind the fasting person of the poor who may seldom eat well. Fasting reinforces the concept that wasting the Creator’s bounties is a sign of ingratitude to Him.

Muslims are reminded to be extra-generous during

the month of Ramadan and to share the bounties that

God has provided them, giving generously in charity. Wealth is regarded as a trust from God, not really our own; will we be greedy with it and spend it only on ourselves, or will we strive to please Him by sharing it with others?

A person who carefully observes the month of

Ramadan becomes closer to God. The self-restraint

of

Ramadan makes the heart and mind accustomed

to

the remembrance and praise of God and to the

obedience of His commandments. It is therefore a spiritual regimen and a re-orientation process for the body and mind.

Eid-ul Fitr

The end of Ramadan is marked by the new moon, which is followed by a day of celebration known as Eid-ul-Fitr or the festival of fast-breaking, which takes place on September 20 this year. Families wake up early in the morning, put on their best clothes and go to the mosque for the Eid sermon and congregational prayers. They thank the Merciful God for having given them the opportunity to experience the blessed month of Ramadan. The day is accompanied by celebration, socializing, festive meals and modest gift-giving especially to children. But before the

festivities begin, every person, adult and child, must have already contributed towards Zakat-ul-Fitra. This is a meal or alms to the needy to make sure nobody is excluded from this happy occasion.

The Eid celebration is not merely about feasting and socializing. There is a deep significance for those who truly observed the holy month with their fasting, abstaining from all bad habits and striving hard to earn the pleasure of God. For the observant, the Merciful Allah has granted Eid as a day for forgiveness of sins. The Muslim is left with a feeling of happiness and joy and a renewed energy to face the rest of the year with faith and determination. Islam teaches that the objective of life is to earn the pleasure of God. The spiritual closeness that can be achieved during the month of Ramadan serves this purpose for those who truly work hard to benefit from it.

A Tasteful Auction (Continued from page 1)

Donations are appreciated! Desserts:

We'll need TWO of each dessert, one for tasting and one for the auction winner to bring home. Please write a very brief description of your offering (name of dessert; is it vegan, gluten- free or contain highly allergenic ingredients, such as dairy or nuts). If you wish, include the recipe too!

Other Items for Auction: art, gift certificates, and other "tasteful" items.

Bring to the auction or drop them off that day at Kathleen Peppard's house, 504 17th Ave. S.E., at Jefferson. Or, request a pick-up at 705-2527, e- mail kathleenjan@comcast.net.

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THE SACRED WAS NEVER FAR AWAY

Scott Allan Stevens is a freelance writer and photographer and one of the founding organizers of IW’s World Sacred Music Festival. He and his wife, performer LaVon Hardison, and her accompanist Darriel Menefee, traveled to India in February to partici- pate in the first International Festival of Sacred Arts in Delhi. He is a member of First Church of Christ, Scientist, Olympia. Scott also hosts the world music radio show “Spin The Globe” on KAOS 89.3 FM (heard Friday mornings at 10 a.m.) and writes the global-culture blog SoundRoots.org.

The otherworldliness of our journey to India began on the airplane. Many hours into the flight, I glanced up at the video display showing the path of the plane. We were flying directly above Afghanistan. We were thousands of feet up, of course, and well out of harm’s way, but down on the ground some people were planting bombs and shooting at each other, while many more people tried to avoid getting caught in the fighting. Around me, most of the people were sleeping.

Friends who have been to India are nearly universal in describing it as a land of contradictions. To

prepare for the trip, I’d read a number of books, most of which served to further confound my expectations. Would we find ourselves in the high-tech India, or the India of limbless, leprous beggars? Would we find peace and harmony based on India’s rich spiritual traditions, or conflict and danger from the tension with Pakistan and recent bombings in Mumbai?

In truth, India’s contradictions turned out to be subtler. We stayed in a spacious, upscale private

home but our bathroom didn’t have hot water. And we struggled to find Indian food better than – or even as good as – our favorite restaurant at home. And we attended amazing performances of sacred music and dance, but relatively few Indians showed up.

These performances were the reason we had come to India. At Olympia’s 2008 World Sacred Music Festival, t w o I n d i a n s i n attendance had come to talk with me about the organization of our modest festival. But before I had even met them, they had already

taken in the performance by my wife, LaVon Hardison, and on the spot had invited her to participate in the first International Festival of Sacred Arts in Delhi.

Preminder Singh and his business partner Mina Vahie were planning an ambitious week-long festival, bringing together musicians, dancers, and academics from all around the world for film, lectures, dance, and musical performances. The

for film, lectures, dance, and musical performances. The LaVon Hardison performs at the Internat ional Festival

LaVon Hardison performs at the International Festival of Sacred Arts in Delhi, India.

(Continued on page 5)

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FAITH COMMUNITIES BIKE & WALK FOR CLIMATE OCT. 24

The Rev. Carol McKinley, Interfaith Earth Stewardship Committee

Thurston County faith communities are invited to Bike and Walk for Climate Change Awareness on October 24, 2009, a worldwide day of action for people who see the climate crisis as a spiritual and moral issue, and are committed to working together to find solutions.

Inspired by the work of environmentalist and author Bill McKibben, the Planetary Day of Action is an international campaign calling the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis by creating a new sense of urgency and possibility for our planet. October 24 events will focus on the number 350: 350 parts of carbon dioxide per million is the level scientists have identified as the safe upper limit for CO2 in our atmosphere. Timing of the call for awareness is critical: this December, world leaders meet in Copenhagen to craft a new global treaty on carbon dioxide emissions.

Thurston County’s October 24 climate action event, Bike and Walk for Climate Change Awareness, begins at 10 a.m. Three hundred fifty families – all ages are welcome! – will bike or walk a short section of the Chehalis-Western Trail, ending at a park where information on climate change, refreshments, and music will greet riders and walkers.

Interfaith Works Earth Stewardship Committee, Washington State Unitarian Universalist Voices for Justice, and Earth Care Catholics are sponsors of the October 24 Day of Awareness; they invite all faith communities and organizations to join them.

Learn more about the international campaign at www.350.org, and about Thurston County’s event by contacting Rev. Carol McKinley at 360 786- 8074, or coordinator@uuvoiceswa.org.

CLASSES ON APPRECIATIVE LIVING AND MORE AT PRIORY

Appreciative Living for the Individual

Saturday, October 17, 9:15 a.m.- 3:00 p.m.

How can we live with a mindset that looks at “What is going well?” How do we nourish and appreciate life in a positive way, construct questions from a positive perspective? How do we live out of hope, inspiration and joy with one another—become the change we want to see? If these questions are your questions, join us for a workshop using the Appre- ciative Inquiry model that flows from a scriptural context.

Led by Sue Schneider and Lucy Wynkoop, OSB

Register by October 9. Cost: $50. Bring a lunch.

Other upcoming workshops include:

Forgiveness: Portal to Wisdom, October 24 Nightmares as Spiritual Resources, October 31 Felting: A Way of God, 6 Sessions begin Nov. 3 Gregorian Chant as Spiritual Practice, Nov. 7 Centering Prayer Retreat, November 13-15 Spiritual Companionship: Journeying To- gether Toward Fullness of Life, November 14

The Priory also offers Individual and Group Re- treats, Spiritual Direction, Healing Touch. For more information, visit the website: www.stplacid.org.

To register for classes, call St. Placid Priory Spiritu- ality Center at (360) 438-2595 or e-mail: spirituali- tyctr@st.placid.org.

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The Sacred (Continued from page 3)

main evening shows at one of the largest venues in the city consisted of one Indian group and one foreign group, in some cases collaborating together after their separate performances.

Magical interactions sprung up as the festival brought together cultures from across India with those from Burkina Faso, Tuva, the U.S.A., Syria, Bulgaria, and beyond. A group of Buddhist monks created an elaborate sand mandala in the theater’s lobby over the course of the week, a work of both art and meditation.

We had some time away from the festival, and even then the sacred was never far away. Temples, mosques, and tiny shrines were everywhere. We visited a meticulously kept Jain temple, a bustling Krishna temple with a high-tech walk-through diorama, and the stunning and peaceful Baha’i Lotus Temple. Less serene were the chaotic streets of Old Delhi near the Jama Masjid (the “World- reflecting Mosque”) and the narrow lanes of the town of Vrindavan, the birthplace of Krishna, choked with tourists, cows, monkeys, and vendors of all manner of edibles and trinkets.

The festival organizers had arranged several performances at sacred sites around the city. One evening we negotiated our way through a dense, dizzying marketplace to sit on the ground under an incense-infused tent outside the mausoleum of Sufi saint Nizamuddin Auliya and listen to a praise- singing qawwali group. Another evening we listened to the ethereal songs of the Cosmic Voices from Bulgaria echoing throughout the Cathedral Church of the Redemption.

The intentional destruction of the Buddhist sand mandala marked the end of the festival. The monks wiped away their colorful, detailed patterns before a hushed crowd of people from all over the planet. Their exercise in impermanent beauty touched us deeply, and many people took home a small bag of sand to pour into a body of water near their home. We came home with full spirits and deep inspirations.

Links:

To see more of Scott’s photos from their trip to India, visit http://tinyurl.com/sas-india.

The International Festival of Sacred Arts, Delhi www.sacredartsfestivaldelhi.org

A PLEA FOR TENTS AND SLEEPING BAGS

In spite of all our efforts to help the homeless of our community, there are still far more homeless than there are available shelter beds. Many people are forced to live outside. THOSE PEOPLE NEED SLEEPING BAGS and TENTS. Some are needed right now. Your help in finding folks willing to donate a warm sleeping bag or a tent would be greatly appreciated! Bring them to:

bag or a tent would be greatly appreciated! Bring them to: The Family Support Center 108
bag or a tent would be greatly appreciated! Bring them to: The Family Support Center 108

The Family Support Center 108 State Ave, 2nd floor (at the corner of State and Capital in downtown Olympia)

For qquestions phone Interfaith Works, 357-7224 or Family Support Center, 754-9297 ext. 209. Thanks for your help in this matter!

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WHAT I LEARNED AT CAMP THIS SUMMER

Kathy Erlandson, Camp Nurse (and IW’s Executive Director)

Forty-two children, at first unknown to one another, formed a community for five days in August. They are boys and girls from 12 to 15 years old. Their economic, social and racial backgrounds are widely diverse. They come from 18 faith traditions. They came to summer camp, most as strangers, and left as friends – and feeling like family. The adults who lived with them that week left camp changed, touched, enlightened by the many small acts of tolerance, patience, kindness and compassion they witnessed by the campers.

Rachel Clark, a 9 th grade camper wrote, “My time at Interfaith Youth Camp was extraordinary. From the faith teachings brought by campers, staff and faith leaders, to the wonderful people you are 'living with' for a week … interfaith camp [was] super awesome. Not only was it so much fun, but it was really powerful. To see so many kids just like you come together to talk and share different faiths that you didn't realize was so closely related to your own; to see that there are kids out there who believe differently, yet are so close; so many kids are very proud of their religion and glad to tell you all about it and welcome you into learning. At this camp, no one judged you, and by the end of the week you had so many best friends and amazing friendships and it felt so amazing” said Rachel.

Staff members were frequently astonished by the support and acceptance campers demonstrated for each other. When a camper made a blunder that would commonly win jeers, taunts and laughter from his/her peers, these kids were enthusiastically encouraging and supportive. In one instance, Muslim faith leader Zak Dehlawi commented that middle school girls are often vicious to each other, but these kids aren't treating each other that way. These kids are different.

Certainly, Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp is not

the only reason these kids are different, but it has undoubtedly made a difference in their lives. The time they spend together at camp listening and sharing about their faith, doubts, hopes and fears creates a very special bond. Sessions about stereotypes, compassionate listening and conflict resolution help these kids look more deeply and compassionately at each other. Silently meditating together, sharing in each other's blessings at meals, and even maneuvering a canoe or sailboat together builds uncommon connections.

“At camp, we did all your typical canoeing/capture- the-flag/friendship-bracelet-making activities,” said camper Caroline Allen, “but everything was in a new context--What are the ways other people worship God? Or, sometimes, What are the ways that I worship God? …. There was a sticker that we were given to wear: "BPM", which stood for Best Possible Motive. When two people were wearing that sticker, that showed that it was okay to ask anything about the other's faith--that the questions were being asked with the Best Possible Motive.”

Yes, Puget Sound Interfaith Youth Camp is a real summer camp, with archery, wild (but supervised), games in the woods, water sports and campfires; but it is much more than that. It is a seed of peace, planted in a group of young people; our hope for the future.

Come enjoy the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with

Congregation B'nai Torah of Olympia 3437 Libby Road NE Olympia, WA 98506

For more information, contact Lowell at 360-356-7367

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR

A listing of some of the activities and events of Interfaith Works members, affiliated organizations, and of general interest. IW does not necessarily endorse these events. More details and events at www.Interfaith-Works.org.

September 25 Friday + more Call for times

30-hour Hospice Volunteer Training offered by Providence SoundHomeCare and Hos- pice The training takes place over three days and two evenings. For information and to register, call Volunteer Coordinator Debe Edden at 360-493-4689.

September 26

19th Annual Thurston County AIDS Walk. Approximately 2 miles, begins at Sylvester Park. Registration begins at 10 am; Walk begins at 11 am. Proceeds support AIDS/HIV

Saturday

10

am

prevention and care programs. Info and registration: www.olyaidswalk.com, 352-2375.

September 27

South Sound Buddhist Peace Fellowship Open Meeting. SSBPF includes members of the local Buddhist community engaging in the Buddhist path of right action in regard to working for peace, justice and social change. Location and info: Robert 357-2825.

Sunday

3:30-5 pm

October 7

Interfaith Works Earth Stewards Meeting. All are invited to become part of a group working to link faith and earth stewardship. The monthly meetings are at Interfaith Works Earth Stewards Meeting. First Christian Church, 7th and Franklin. For info contact LeslieHR@aol.com. First Christian Church, 7th and Franklin. For info contact LeslieHR@aol.com.

Wednesday

Noon

October 10

A Tasteful Auction. A silent auction of exquisite desserts & other wondrous things. A Tasteful Auction. Light refreshments. Live music. Scintillating conversation. Come, invite friends! First Christian Light refreshments. Live music. Scintillating conversation. Come, invite friends! First Christian Church (7th & Franklin). All proceeds to benefit Interfaith Works.

Saturday

7–9 pm

October 11

St. John’s Concert Series opens with The Esoterics, an innovative Seattle vocal ensem- ble dedicated to performing contemporary choral settings of poetry, philosophy, and spiri- tual writings from around the world. Free-will offering accepted.114 20th Ave SE, Olympia.

Sunday

3:00 pm

October 11

Celebration: Interfaith. Building bridges of peace through understanding using music, message and meditation. 2nd Sunday of the month. Unity of Tacoma, 2102 S. 23rd St, Tacoma, WA 98405. Info 253-383-2684 or 253-226-1635.

Sunday

6:00 pm

October 14

October 14 EARTH CARE SERIES #2. Thurston County Climate Action: What’s Happening Locally? Tom Crawford, Thurston

EARTH CARE SERIES #2. Thurston County Climate Action: What’s Happening Locally? Tom Crawford, Thurston County Climate Team Board member will speak. Discussion follows. Free admission. Traditions Café, 300 5th Ave SW, Olympia.

Wednesday

7:00 pm

October 15

Clergy and Lay Leader Training to Help Returning Veterans. Free workshop about issues facing our military families, such as TBI, suicide, drug abuse, divorce, PTSD. At St.

Thursday

10

am—2 pm

Matthews Lutheran Church, Renton. Lunch included. Contact DorisWaggoner@juno.com.

October 15-17

40-Hour Mediation Training with the Dispute Resolution Center of Thurston County; training to be held in Downtown Olympia. For more information see http:// www.mediatethurston.org or call (360) 956-1155.

and 22-24.

5-9; 8:30-5:30

October 17 Saturday 9:15 am-3 pm

Appreciative Living for the Individual. How can we live with a mindset that looks at “What is going well?” How do we nourish life in a positive way? Cost: $50. Register by Oct. 9. St. Placid Priory Spirituality Center, 360-438-2595; spiritualiltyctr@st.placid.org

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SUPPORT THE INTERFAITH WORK Non-Profit Org. Donate on-line U.S. Postage WE APPRECIATE YOUR ONE-TIME GIFT
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Support Interfaith Works with a Paid Ad $10

Saturday, October 10, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. First Christian Church (7th and Franklin) What’s happening?
Saturday, October 10,
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
First Christian Church (7th and Franklin)
What’s happening?
 A silent auction of exquisite desserts
and other wondrous things
 Light refreshments
 Live music
 Scintillating conversation
Please come,
and invite your friends!
All proceeds to benefit Interfaith Works

Another Way…

Fair Trade Gifts and Foods

Open Saturdays 10:00 – 3:00

Supporting global artisans and local hunger relief

Lacey Community Church 4501 19 th Ave SE, Lacey

360-491-1741

Community Church 4501 19 t h Ave SE, Lacey 360-491-1741 S EASONAL A FFECTIVE D ISORDER

SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (S.A.D.)

Symptoms Causes Treatments

Do you experience lethargy, fatigue, or eat and sleep more when the temperature drops and darkness falls earlier? Pacific Pastoral Counseling presents a mini-workshop. Fee: $25, Scholarships available.

RSVP to Carol Sorenson at 360-790-3286

Friday, October 2, 12:30-3:30 pm

First United Methodist Church, 1224 Legion Way SE, Olympia