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The Interfaith Movement: Motivating Philadelphia to take a unified step toward tolerance

Breaking / Carousel / S.S. Portfolio / The Grind / October 13, 2015

True or False: Your spiritual beliefs, and the ways in which you choose to demonstrate them through your actions, ultimately affects us all.

It’s true, you know.

As an adult and parent witnessing the severe consequences of a world often intolerant of differing faiths (“the others”), I believe it’s become extremely important to raise children who are independent thinkers capable of being tolerant of others’ beliefs and perspectives. I NEVER want my children to miss out on the blessing of learning from someone who doesn’t think or believe as they do.

Case in point: the pope just made a historical visit to our city and although my children and I are Christian, I had an in-depth conversation with them about who he is, what Catholicism and the World Meeting of Families [are] about, and why the visit was a big deal.

My commitment to becoming a living example of love – along with a desire to impact my community and the world for the better – led me to meet the Rev. Mark Tyler, senior pastor of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Tyler serves as co-chair of the Clergy Caucus within POWER (Philadelphians Organized to Witness Empower and Rebuild).

POWER unites congregations from across the city and intentionally brings people together “across the lines of race, faith, income level and neighborhood” for the purpose of driving an interfaith movement. Their mission is to organize and empower Philadelphians for the purpose of transforming the conditions of neighborhoods, and moving the needle on quality-of-life issues.

I recently chatted with Rev. Tyler about the importance of tolerance and the value of an interfaith perspective on life, especially here in diverse Philadelphia. Stay tuned for the next Conversations with a Kids piece, where I’ll explore my eldest daughter’s (she’s 10) thoughts on tolerance for other religions, beliefs and perspectives.

 

Click here to read the full article on PhillyVoice.com!

– Sincerely Syreeta


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