Interfaith Ministry at St. Martin
Our Lord gave us a new commandment: that we love one another. He didn’t qualify that statement by saying, “as long as they think and believe as you do.” The great spiritual paths of the world echo this commandment, for at their core, they too are all based on Love; we are all children of One God.
The Dalai Lama said that “Harmony among our different religious traditions is essential for world peace.” Therefore, in our interfaith ministry at St. Martin, we heed the words of St. Paul in Romans 14:15 when he said, “Let us pursue what makes for peace and mutual understanding.”
Our interfaith ministry goals include:
Networking with organizations that promote interfaith understanding;
Hosting meetings/social events with people of different faiths, to share points of view, discuss differences, discover commonalities, and build fellowship;
Promoting greater understanding of other faiths through ongoing education and by organizing exchange visits with other houses of worship;
Designing and officiating interfaith wedding ceremonies and memorial services in our beautiful sanctuary and chapel.
Interfaith Ministries Interest Group:
Would you like to be part of a group that helps grow our interfaith work in the community? We are starting an interest group that would help plan and create interfaith events such as hosting a dinner; supporting regular interfaith worship services at St. Martin; classes/discussion groups about different faiths; organizing group visits to worship at a local mosque, synagogue, or temple; and more. Contact Rev. Darby at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-826-9279.
Recent and ongoing interfaith activities:
Summer 2018 Interfaith Learning Series: Abraham's Stars. At 5 of our regular 9:30 am Sunday services during the summer we heard from area spiritual leaders of Abrahamic traditions including Judaism, Islam, Unity, American Baptist, and Interfaith. These services were followed by often lively and always engaging Q & A's with the speaker. Rev. Darby Line, St. Martin's interfaith & healing ministries associate, kicked off the series on June 10 with a homily on the power of love in our work toward interfaith understanding. On July 8 Rabbi David Spey, of Temple Bat Yam in Ft. Lauderdale, shared the perspective of Judaism, including a beautiful prayer that he sang with his own guitar accompaniment. July 22 featured Rev. Lawrence Palmer of Unity of Pompano Beach, who shared a homily entitled "OMG" which highlighted three aspects of how we experience God. On August 5 we hosted Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, Esq., communications director for the Florida Center on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Many in the congregation were amazed at the commonalities between Christianity and Islam. Finally, Rev. Joanne Afshar, American Baptist Church/Board Certified Chaplain, wrapped up the experience with a homily about her love of her Baptist faith and how it, and all faiths, can lead to interfaith understanding. Quoting theologian Hans Kung, she summarized by saying, "There can be no peace among nations without peace among the religions; no peace among the religions without dialogue between the religions; no dialogue between the religions without investigation of the foundation of the religions.” We are deeply grateful to all our guest speakers for sharing their time, words, and hearts with us!
St. Martin's representation at local interfaith events: Fr. Bernard Pecaro and Rev. Darby Line represented St. Martin at the November 3, 2018 interfaith memorial service in honor of those slain in the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Rev. Darby has also represented St. Martin at the November 2017 Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Service held at the United Church of Christ in Ft. Lauderdale, at Ft. Lauderdale UCC's interfaith vigil, "Fourteen Chairs," following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as a board member of JAM & All Interfaith, as a member of the faith leaders' committee of One World Interfaith Council.
Monthly Interfaith Cafe Meetups: Every 3rd Monday, JAM & ALL Interfaith hosts a friendly evening of conversation among people of different faiths. The gatherings closest to St. Martin are held at 7 pm at Temple Bat Yam, 5151 NE 14th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale--one block north of Commercial Blvd. and NE 15th Ave. Gathered around tables of 6 people over coffee and snacks, participants address a specific question (such as: What is your favorite religious holiday? How does your faith encourage intergenerational growth? How are forgiveness, humility and gratitude reflected in your faith? and many others!). All share from their own faith perspectives and gain by listening to those of others at the table. The result is learning, new awarenesses, often a deeper clarity of our own faiths, and always--new friends! Once we learn that people of other faiths are "just people like us" the barriers begin to fall and we relate as fellow human beings. in this simple, casual way, friendships blossom, and God's love shines more brightly. For more information about these and similar monthly meetups in Coral Springs and Davie, and to receive JAM & ALL's email announcements, please visit www.jamandallinterfaith.org .