27
Apr
12

2 MORE WEEKS

WHAT. we have 2 more multifaiths left for the year. Casey and I are both seniors, so these will be our last 2 here at Hamline. On Monday, we were initially going to volunteer at Emma Nortons in St. Paul, but unfortunately we ended up not being able to go. We did, however, get to decorate lunch bags for Keystone Services in St. Paul. With their Meals on Wheels program, volunteers deliver meals to our elderly and disabled neighbors and enjoy one on one contact with them. The bags are decorated to personalize the lunches and is something that is enjoyed by the neighbors.

This coming Monday, April 30, the topic is children and religion and the following Monday the topic will be an end of year/summer celebration. We’re all looking forward to these next few weeks and we’re hoping you’ll be able to join us!

13
Apr
12

please excuse our lateness…

Friends! Friends friends friends. We are so sorry about how bad we’ve been at keeping the blog updated. We are well-overdue on a new post. Although it’s been quite some time since we’ve posted, I’d like to give you a run-down of what’s been happening since our last post–

In December, we wrapped up the fall semester of Multifaith with a celebration of winter holidays.

In January, Multifaith had a month long book club. We read the book Zeitoun, which is a true story about a Muslim man living in New Orleans who used his own canoe to help rescue the people of New Orleans when it was flooded after Hurricane Katrina.

We have had some awesome discussions so far at Multifaith. Our schedule looks like….

Feb 6- Current Events
Feb 13- Religion and Relationships
Feb 20- Religion and the Presidential Race
Feb 27- Miracles
Mar 5- Eboo night
Mar 12- Spring Holidays
Mar 26- Movie night
Apr 2- Time
Apr 9- Hijab for a Day
Apr 16- Native American Spirituality
Apr 23- Service night at Emma Norton
Apr 30- Religion and Children
May 7- SUMMAAAA PARTAY

It’s been a crazy semester for Multifaith, the Wesley Center, and all of the interfaith work that’s gone on. Hamline had the amazing opportunity to have Eboo Patel visit campus and spend a day talking about interfaith action with students, faculty, and staff as well as wrapping up his visit with a lecture at the Hamline church, which was open to all. It was a truly inspiring day, and we are still left with the buzz and excitement that was created from the visit!

Over spring break, there were 5 groups of students and staff that went on Catalyst trips. There was a New Orleans trip that focused on service through an interfaith lens which all three of us (Casey, Megan, Rola) were able to go on. This was also an amazing trip full of amazing people. We were able to meet with members and leaders of a mosque, synagogue, leaders and members from the Vietnamese community in East New Orleans to learn about the ways that they had helped their community after Hurricane Katrina. We also had the opportunity to meet with a few kids from the neighborhood of Central City, where we were staying for the week as well as a Hamline Alum who had moved to New Orleans after he had visited a few times with catalyst groups from Hamline. The experiences and details of this trip can’t be emphasized enough through words on paper or a screen, but we’re happy to say that it truly was an amazing trip, and we’ve all taken something back with us.

 

Now we are to the middle of April, having just a few more discussions with Multifaith. We had a very successful Hijab for a Day event this past week, which brought in amazing ideas and experiences from the day as well as throughout peoples’ lives. We are going to have a service night in 2 weeks, which we try to do once a semester for Multifaith.

Next week is the 2012 Mahle Lecture in Progressive Christian Thought. “World Balance vs. Personal Salvation: An American Indian Postcolonial Perspective” will have guest lecturer Dr. George “Tink” Tinker. This event is free and open to the public and will take place in Sundin Music Hall (1531 Hewitt Ave., St. Paul MN 55104). For more details with that, you can contact the Wesley Center at (651) 523- 2878.

So, there is a semi-short summary of what’s been going on the past few…months. Once again, we’re sorry it’s taken so long to update this. As you can see, we’ve been keeping plenty busy with what’s going on around campus! BUT I PROMISE YOU WE WILL UPDATE THIS SOONER NEXT TIME.

18
Nov
11

Baha’i

Reading about the Baha’i faith has been nothing but eye-opening and interesting for me. There is much that is unknown about the faith, which was why it was a great topic of discussion on Monday. For those who would like to know more, here’s some information–

The central theme of Bahá’u’lláh’s message is that humanity is one single race and that the day has come for its unification in one global society. God, Bahá’u’lláh said, has set in motion historical forces that are breaking down traditional barriers of race, class, creed, and nation and that will, in time, give birth to a universal civilization. The principal challenge facing the people’s of the earth is to accept the fact of their oneness and to assist the processes of unification.

Among the principles which the Bahá’í Faith promotes as vital to the achievement of this goal are:

– the abandonment of all forms of prejudice

assurance to women of full equality of opportunity with men

recognition of the unity and relativity of religious truth

– the elimination of extremes of poverty and wealth

– the realization of universal education

– the responsibility of each person to independently search for truth

– the establishment of a global commonwealth of nations

– recognition that true religion is in harmony with reason and the pursuit of scientific knowledge

Looking at these principles, we can relate them back to different faiths and practices that encourage service and giving what you can to the community. One thing that is interesting is that the self discovery of faith is up to the individual. Through these principles, you can grow as a person who is Baha’i, Bettering the world results in bettering yourself. Some of the questions that we were exploring were things like if it’s actually achievable to live your life by those principles fully and to consistently have the values in your mind. It’s one thing to believe in these and other practices and principles, but it’s put on a whole different level when you begin to do these things in your daily life and have them in your mind.

These principles, although not exactly identical, are very similar to those of other religions and beliefs. To some of us though, the difference was that the core of this belief system is serving people and trying to better society through the actions in your life. If all faiths, beliefs, and religious systems were as explicit in laying out the obligations or guidelines of the faith to serving and bettering the community, how would that shape the world in the future? Would there be more collective action to eliminate certain things that are so prominent in our society today like discrimination and poverty?

If you’d like more information on the Baha’i faith, visit the website– http://www.bahai.org/

 

10
Nov
11

It’s already November?

There is not much multifaith left in this semester, but what we’ve got is really good stuff.

Next Monday, we’ll be talking about Bahai faith. Rola’s leading that one- going to be wonderful.

On the 21st, we’re joining with Hamline’s GLBT group Spectrum to have a fantastic discussion on the intersections of GLBT and spirituality.

On the 27th, we’ll be looking at how religion is represented in Pop Culture.

And on December 5th, we’re going to have an amazing Winter celebration night with really delicious food.

Please stop by for any of these events. But really, we’ve been so happy with the turnout we’ve had this year. It’s really fantastic to see our regulars every week, but also seeing the new people who come to check it out. We are glad to know we are providing an open and safe space for discussion between religious and nonreligious people here on campus. Hope you stop by soon!

07
Nov
11

coat drive=success

On October 24, there was a coat drive on Hamline’s campus. As part of the President’s Challenge, we were collecting coats for Taking Root, who were asking for coat donations to give to the incoming refugee families to the Twin Cities. The coats were to be distributed on the 26th. Throughout the span of 2 hours, we were able to collect 53 coats, 16 scarves, 6 hats/gloves, 19 sweaters/vests, and 8 others. This brings the total things collected to 103 items!!!! Words cannot describe how happy we all were with these results. We were notified that the coat giveaway at Taking Root was a huge success and that the families who’d received the items were feeling happy and welcomed.

The coat drive is another example of how beneficial and powerful interfaith service work is to people. Regardless of religious or ethnic backgrounds, people are working together to create more of a pluralistic way of living.

02
Nov
11

social justice+service, along with many other things!

This week, Multifaith collaborated with STOVE (Students Together Organizing Volunteer Events) for Trick-or-Canning. Although we don’t have the exact numbers of food collected, I can tell you already that it was a huge success. The happiness that came to people’s faces when we had told them what we were doing created an amazing energy for the night. I was genuinely shocked when I realized how much food we had collected in such a short amount of time. In the small group I was in, we had already collected enough boxed goods and cans to nearly fill an entire shopping cart. I’m not sure why, but I was struck with the generosity of people. As we were leaving houses, we would thank them for their donations. Each time, they would reply with “No, thank you for doing this.” The food collected is being donated to the Handcock Food Shelf. Hancock has a very diverse population in many ways, including religion and issues regarding poverty and homelessness. With the help of donators and volunteers, we are able to make a positive impact in our community.
29
Sep
11

A great Atheism discussion!

The discussion on Atheism was fantastic! I appreciate everyone who came and spoke or came and listened. We touched on a lot of complex ideas about personal faith and where atheism fits in the realm of religious diversity (or if it even does), or if a statement of belief, and the fact that there is an American Atheists society, goes against the concept of Atheism. It got a bit meta, didn’t it? (Why are we talking about it if it doesn’t matter anyway? Oh man) Anyway, I loved how open people were to this discussion- I myself knew a lot less about atheism than I thought, and throwing these ideas around helped me learn more even after research. You guys are great, and keep that open mind.

See you next Monday!

check out the website for American Atheists, which I referenced a lot on Monday

http://www.atheists.org/

An atheist believes that a hospital should be built instead of a church. An atheist believes that a deed must be done instead of a prayer said. An atheist strives for involvement in life and not escape into death. He wants disease conquered, poverty vanquished, war eliminated. He wants man to understand and love man.




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Hamline University Multifaith Alliance is run by:

Megan Dimond
Religious and Spiritual Life Office
mdimond01@hamline.edu
x 2315

Rola Alkatout
Social Justice '12
ralkatout01@hamlineuniversity.edu