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THE INFINITE

“Always to me beloved was this lonely hillside

And the hedgerow creeping over and always hiding

The distances, the horizon’s furthest reaches.

But as I sit and gaze, there is an endless

Space still beyond, there is a more than mortal

Silence spread out to the last depth of peace,

Which in my thought I shape until my heart

Scarcely can hide a fear. And as the wind

Comes through the copses sighing to my ears,

The infinite silence and the passing voice

I must compare: remembering the seasons,

Quiet in dead eternity, and the present,

Living and sounding still. And into this

Immensity my thought sinks ever drowning,

And it is sweet to shipwreck in such a sea.”

 (trad. di Henry Reed, 1950).

Honest Dialogue: The Basis for Interfaith Encounters World Council of Churches (WCC) current and incoming general secretaries have highlighted honesty in dialogue as the basis of meaningful interfaith encounters.

“A fruitful mutual understanding [between people of different faiths] depends on honesty”, stated the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia speaking at the opening of a conference involving Muslim, Christian and Jewish participants in Geneva on 30 September – 1 October. Honesty means “both convergences and genuine differences must be recognized and held in a creative tension”, said Kobia. “Because we are different, we each have something unique to contribute, and every contribution counts. At the same time, dialogue partners seek to discover and appreciate the common values held by all.” Speaking at one of the conference’s panels, the WCC general secretary-elect Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit said “We are one humanity, expressed in different civilizations, sharing the same earth”. Against this backdrop he stated: “It is time for dialogue, honest dialogue, about our attitudes to our neighbour, about our common responsibility toward the earth and toward the coming generations.” Kobia and Tveit made these remarks at the conference “Initiative of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques on dialogue and its impact in disseminating human values” organized by the general secretariat of the Muslim World League. The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques is King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. In his intervention Kobia stressed that “dialogue is not merely a subject for discussion in conferences or councils but a way of living out our faith in relation to one another. In loving and serving the God we know, we find our common calling to affirm human dignity, uphold human rights, preserve the environment and bring warfare to an end”. Tveit spoke about his experience of interfaith encounters in Norway, where immigration over recent decades has brought about changes in the religious landscape, incorporating a significant Muslim minority to a traditionally Christian society. In Norway, said Tveit, Christians and Muslims together have promoted the right for Muslims to express their faith and worship, affirmed the need for freedom of speech to be exercised with wisdom so as not to cause offence to one another, expressed concern for the human rights of Christians attacked in Pakistan, and addressed issues of gender and equality, strongly condemning “any misuse of the teachings of our religions in order to legitimize violence within the family or close relationships”. Full text of WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=7188 Full text of WCC general secretary-elect Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit http://www.oikoumene.org/?id=7193 WCC programme on Inter-religious dialogue and cooperation http://www.oikoumene.org/en/programmes/interreligiousdialogue.html

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Dietrich Bonhoeffer

We must act and dare the appropiateness and not whatever comes to our mind not floating in the likelihood but grasp the reality as brave as we can be freedom lies in action not in the absence of mind obedience knows the essence of good and satisfies it, freedom dares to act and returns God the ultimate judgment of what is right and what is wrong, Obedience performs blindly but Freedom is wide awake Freedom wants to know why, Obedience has its hands tied, Freedom is inventive obedient man respects God’s commands and by virtu of his Freedom, he creats new commands. Both Obedience and Freedom come true in responsability (Dietrich Bonhoeffer)

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