This past month has been full of preparations for our upcoming production at the International Festival where we will put on a play about the Religions of the Silk Road. In the play a young merchant who encounters difficult situations will be forced to make moral decisions dealing with mercy and forgiveness. Religious teachers will instruct the young man in the difficult situations, highlighting the theme of compassion in several world religions. His journey will be one of moral development and coming of age. As I reflect on the hours of preparation for this event, I am both inspired and challenged by the fundamental teaching present in many traditions...treat others as you would like to be treated.
Over the past few years I have found an interesting conflict within my own faith and life journey. I intellectually grasp the concept of the Golden Rule, often readily when applied to others. For me this seems the much easier task than when I direct that rule towards myself. I tend to be harder on myself, expecting perfection on a regular basis more than from others. I have improved over the years in this regard, but still, it creeps up on me in the most insidious ways. Perhaps you also struggle to extend compassion to yourself.
One of the scenes in our Silk Road play highlights this theme. The main character, Ling, must choose between forgiving himself or holding onto a past regret. As I listen to the teachings in the play I am reminded that we all need to extend grace and love to ourselves. Sometimes that grace calls us to forgive ourselves for a naive decision or a moment when we lost our composure with a loved one. Sometimes grace is just about believing that when you do your best God will fill in the places where you may not yet be adequate. I hope that this week you will set aside some time for yourself, find a quiet place, and embrace the sacred teachings you hold dear. Let those teachings comfort and remind you to have compassion for yourself in all areas of your life. If you need a little reminding about compassion for yourself or others I recommend you join us for our play, you will find details below. Have a blessed day!
Don't forget to scroll all the way down the page.
Director of Interfaith Relations
Religions of the Silk Road
May 1st & May 8th
International Kids Stage
Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston and The High School for performing and Visual Arts will collaborate to bring to the International Festival a play enititled Religions of the Silk Road.
The production will be an exciting tale of a young merchant traveler who must complete an important mission to secure his family's future. Along the journey the young man will encounter difficult situations, learn from wise religious teachers, learn how to be both a successful merchant and a compassionate man. The play will have exciting elements for people of all ages, and will be the first of this production for the international Festival and Interfaith Ministries! Don't miss it!
CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS
Groups of 20 or more recieve discount
Participating communities include Chung-Tai Zen Center, Friends of Confucius in Herman Park, Hindus of Greater Houston, Houston Congregation for Reform Judaism, Jain Society of Houston, Lakewood United Methodist Church, Rain Drop Turkish House, Zoroastrian Association of Houston
A special thank you to our many friends who are helping to make this event possible!
Two Upcoming iFaith Events:
May 15, 2011
Coffee or Tea?
One lump or two?
Fear people or meet them?
Meet new people at our totally new take on interfaith events! The iFaith DiversiTEA is based in the concept of quick Duo logues* where: 2 students meet for 5 minutes over refreshments and then move on to each meet a new person. Quick conversations to start new friendships!
All are welcome on May 15, 2011
*Duologue see: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/duologue
Interfaith Youth Camp
New Dates! July 19th - 21st!
Join with other student leaders from across Houston for 3 days of fun, interfaith service and exploration.
Highlight: Interfaith Olympics! Teams compete in skits and activities based on improvisational comedy sportz!
| Mural Unveiled at Interfaith Ministries|
A Collaborative Art Project
The Boniuk Center at Rice University and the Museum of Cultural Arts, Houston have brought together 25 high school students to visit sacred religious sites and create a fabulous mixed-media mural to be installed at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston. IM is proud and honored to host the artwork designed and created by the students in collaboration with MOCAH staff!
We invite you to attend the unveiling ceremony on May 15, 2011 at 12pm at our offices, located at 3217 Montrose Blvd., Houston TX 77006. The unveiling will include short descriptions of the four part mural from students and a light reception. If you love kids, art, and religious diversity come join us!
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org (include name and number in your party)
For more information on the partners click below:
Museum of Cultural Arts Houston
The Boniuk Center at Rice University
| Dinner Dialogue in a Box|
Questions for Dinner Dialogue Groups Many of you have let us know that you are continuing to meet with your Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue groups and we are thrilled to hear that great news! Each month you will find in this section a few discussion questions that you can use for your follow up meetings!
We would love to hear about how your groups are doing and any activities that you all choose to do together!
1. "A religious person is one who holds God and others in one thought at one time, at all times who suffers harm done to others, whose greatest passion is compassion, whose greatest strength is love and defiance of despair ."
--Abraham J. Heschel
How do you hold God and others in one thought at the same time? What does your faith tradition teach you about how humanity reflects divinity? Does this help you to have compassion for others?
2. "I came upon a doctor who appeared in poor health. I said, 'There's nothing that I can do for you that you can't do for yourself. ' He said, 'Oh yes you can. Just hold my hand. I think that would help.' So I sat with him for a while and and then I asked him how he felt.' He said, 'I think I'm cured.' "
Why do we so often think we need to have an "answer" or "solution" to someone's pain or trial. Very often the best give we can give is that of our presence. Is there an area in your life where you would like someone to simply be present and sit with you? What does your faith teach you about the power of compassionate presence?
Do you have news to share?
The Interfaith Relations Department asks that all requests to promote upcoming events be received by the 3rd Friday of the month preceeding your event. Click here
to fill out our line request form. Thank you!
| In This Issue |
|Religions of the Silk Road|
|Tai Chi Classes|
|How Prayer Makes a Difference|
| | Click here to donate to IM's Interfaith Relations Department.
Our programs are funded solely through generous donations like yours and grants. Help us maintain the quality of our programs and develop new ones.
Free Tai Chi Classes
Tai Chi Sessions
Rothko Chapel will offer a series of four Tai Chi classes free to the public on Thursdays in May. Particpants do not need to register in advance.
*Loose and comfortable clothing is recommended
For more information click here.
Reception: May 18, 2011
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Art Institute of Houston
1900 Yorktown Street
Houston, TX 77056
Exhibit: May 16- June 8, 2011
The Asian Pacific American Heritage Association and the Art Institute of Houston presents "Our Rich Tapestry of Cultures"- the annual Asian/Pacific theme art exhibit celebrating Asian Pacific Heritage month.
For sponsorship opportunities email email@example.com or call 713-784-1112 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 713-784-1112 end_of_the_skype_highlighting.
A Free Talk by Christine Driessen, CSB
Ifinite Reseources: Explore How Prayer can Make a Difference!
May 21, 2011
Fourth Church of Christ
4910 Montrose Blvd.
Houston, TX 77006
Christine is a Christian Science practioner and teacher who lectures internationally and lives in Wyoming. She has proven the effectiveness of prayer throughout her life as ateacher, attorney, dancer and harpist, founder of rehabilitation program for women prisoners and mother.
*Free parking and child care available
For more information call 713-524-5508 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 713-524-5508 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Stop The Hate T-Shirt
| | .
Get them while they last. Our "Stop the Hate... Understand" t-shirts were designed by Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston's Youth Council 2010