Faith at Work LXXVIII

January 2011

A very happy New Year to you all – last month we celebrated Christmas, the coming of the baby Jesus to be the “light of the world”, initially to the world of the Jews. After the twelve days of Christmas, we come to the Epiphany when Jesus is presented to the wise men from the East representing the non-Jews or Gentiles. During January, we also hold the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 18th (once associated with Peter being consecrated Bishop of Rome) to the 25th (a day we remember the conversion of Paul). Why do we need to do that, you may ask – my first thoughts are that we can all express the essential elements of our faith but it helps sometimes to recognise, celebrate and learn from our different approaches. What do you think?

And what do you think about other faiths? Are they simply following other routes to the God we believe in? Are they helpful ways of expressing the mystery of the divine? Can we usefully share our spirituality with one another? Wolverhampton has a long tradition of inter-faith dialogue, growing out of the rich tapestry of the creeds and cultures we find in and around our city. Every year in January, there are prayers of peace held in the city church of St.Peter’s – this year it is at 3pm on Sunday 30th. Why not go along and experience some insights from other faiths? I’m sure you will find it rewarding and good to share with others … and there are other opportunities too through the year.

On the numbers front, we reached eight last month and I hinted that nine would have been a good choice to lead us into the Christmas story. It’s interesting that nine is the number of distinct world faiths that belong as members to the Inter-Faith Network in the UK (see I wonder how many you could write down – have a go and then look it up on their website; you may be in for a surprise. There are others of course, but this seems quite a good set. The Inter-Faith Network was asked, as part of the millennium celebrations in 2000, to prepare an Act of Commitment. This is what they came up with:

We commit ourselves, as people of many faiths,
to work together for the common good,
uniting to build a better society,
grounded in values and ideals we share:

community, personal integrity, a sense of right and wrong,
learning, wisdom and love of truth, care and compassion,
justice and peace, respect for one another, for the earth and its creatures.

We commit ourselves, in a spirit of friendship and co-operation,
to work together alongside all who share our values and ideals,
to help bring about a better world now and for generations to come.

AMEN to that.

This site was developed to contain work by Mike Fox relating to the WMMTC course
and subsequent experience during ministry in the parish of Codsall and the BCUIM.
This page was last updated on 2010-11-29

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