Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Using the Law of Attraction in creating meaningful interfaith and intercultural connections

One of the things I’m passionate about as a writer and observer of local culture is to help set the record straight about what Detroit is really like, past the doom-saying media hype about city bankruptcy, crime statistics, and urban decay.

Over the past three years, I’ve introduced my readers to such organizations as the Interfaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit (IFLC), Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in Metro Detroit (WISDOM), Song and Spirit Institute for Peace, Read the Spirit, and the Ecumenical Theological Seminary.

I’ve highlighted the significance of more mainstream public and private institutions with programming relevant to interfaith and intercultural relations, including the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), Detroit Public Television, the Bentley Historical Library, Focus:HOPE, and the Motor City Blight Busters.

I’ve written about events and tours I’ve attended at various Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Bahá’í, and Hindu houses of worship, that have opened their doors to the public for both their regular services and events specifically catering to people of other faiths who would like to learn more about them.

I’ve described several initiatives sponsored by individual faith communities, the interfaith community as a whole, and by otherwise secular institutions—including the Hospitality Initiative, Seasons of Gratitude in 2013, Acts of Kindness annual day of community service (to turn September 11 from a day of mourning into a day of intercultural cooperation), and cross-cultural education initiatives.

I also write reviews of nonfiction books (most published by Read the Spirit Books) with relevance to spirituality, such as WISDOM’s Friendship and Faith, Daniel Buttry’s Blessed are the Peacemakers, Warren Petoskey’s Dancing My Dream, and Lynne Golodner’s The Flavors of Faith: Holy Bread.

I include hyperlinks in my posts to provide a map for people to find out more about this cultural shift and the organizations and people who are promoting it, as well as to provide resources about how to become involved in the interfaith community.

I’m consistently on the lookout for like-minded people, and have recently been finding the Law of Attraction at play more and more often in this search. The simplest explanation of the Law of Attraction is that you get what you put out there: I’m living my spiritual and social life connected with the interfaith community, so I’m having more and more chance encounters with people who really click with this community concept or are actively seeking it already.

I’ve struck up such conversations at coffee houses, restaurants, while running errands, and when meeting friends of friends. Last week at Starbucks I met a martial arts instructor who described his interest in involving faith and spirituality in his wellness coaching.

Despite encounters with such seekers, the group that seems to be the least represented in the interfaith community is people between the ages of 25 and 40. There are initiatives for children and youth, and most of the programs are started by people who are well into their careers and have grown children, many of whom are retired. There seems to be little visibility of those who have aged out of the youth groups and who are not yet in the ranks of the fully-self-actualized in their careers, and who don’t possess their own personal resources to found organizations or devote large amounts of time to fostering grassroots initiatives. Some of these folks may want to get involved, and just don't know how.

I hope that by reading my posts, you’ll see something—some initiative, or group, or event, or book—that sparks your interest, whether you want to get directly involved or would just simply like to know what is really going on in the Metro Detroit area other than the shocking and often discouraging highlights the mainstream media favors.

At the very least, I hope that this blog will show you there are reasons to hope for the future of a more compassionate Detroit—and beyond that, a more compassionate nation.

Thanks for reading, and I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Peace and all good,

Karla Joy

Illustration by Karla Joy Huber, 2010; Prismacolor marker and Sharpie marker 

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