Creating a Culture of Interfaith Learning

At the Hartford Seminary Christians, Muslims and Jews study together to be chaplains of their individual faiths. This environment fosters in depth dialogue and increased openness between the faiths and allows for a higher level of understanding to be reached. Outside of the seminary walls, there are some that are fearful of the work being done, but this does not seem to discourage the students attending the school. The students are learning from each other and remain positive about the great impact they have on interfaith relations. Watch them speak about their experience in the video below.

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NFL Star Gives Back to Home Country

Vikings football player, Madieu Williams, came to the United States from Sierra Leone at the age of nine, but he has never forgotten where he came from. A decade of brutal civil war has left his home country in a desolate state and most of its people are living in extreme poverty. Madieu hopes that he can now go back and help to improve the lives of the people he once lived among. His main focus is education because he believes that with hope and opportunity he can give the children of Sierra Leone the same chance for success that he was given. He built an elementary school named after his mom, who inspired his work, and he hopes this is only the beginning. Madieu also works with the organization, Healing Hands, bringing together volunteers, dentists and other health care professionals from around the world to provide services to Sierra Leone. Watch the story below.

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Tennis for Peace

A Hindu from India and a Muslim from Pakistan first became friends and then tennis partners. They play around the world and Indians and Pakistanis come together to root for the winning duo. At Wimbledon they made their political opinion known, when they sported jackets displaying “Stop War Start Tennis.” This year they played at the U.S. open where they were interviewed and asked about the role they play in the relations between their two countries. One of the gentlemen compared their efforts to that of Nelson Mandela, who used soccer to help unite post-apartheid era South Africa. Through tennis, these two men bring together the people of both of their countries and show that peace is possible. They inspire the world through their friendship, partnership and success. Watch them speak below.

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Faiths Join to Combat Hatred

Would the voices of less than 50 individuals in a small church in Florida be heard and make any impact if it wasn’t for the media? Maybe not and many seem to think it is only increasing tensions. However, listening to Rev. Larry Reimer speak out (in the video below) makes one think about the good that can come out of even the worst of situations. Leaders around the world, both religious and secular, are talking about the “International Burn a Koran Day.” The hatred behind this ceremony is the same hatred that is bringing people of faith together for peace. Many people of faith believe, as Rev. Reimer does that religions share more similarities than difference. Muslim, Christian and Jewish clergy have all come together to petition the church not to go through with their planned action on September 11th. In two days we will know if their efforts and the work of many others will succeed in stopping the burning of the Korans.

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Kindness is truly Contagious

Have you ever been at a register ready to pay and realized that you forgot your wallet? This is what happened to Carolee Hazard when she was grocery shopping one afternoon, but instead of having to go home to get her wallet another woman, by the name of Jenni Ware, offered to pay the bill. It totaled $207 and the next day Carolee sent the money back to Jenni, with a thank you note and an additional $93. Jenni decided to give the extra money to the Second Harvest Food Bank and posted the story on her Facebook page. Within only a few days friends of Jenni and Carolee were responding in great numbers to this story of compassion. They were so moved that many began to match the donations and so the 93 Dollar Club was born. Friends were told by friends who were told by friends and with Facebook word spread quickly and donations began increasing. To date they have raised over fifty thousand dollars for the food bank, which provides two meals for every one dollar donated. Listen to the women tell their stories below and tell us a story about a time you were touched by the contagiousness of kindness.

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