‘Acts of Faith’ discussion guide ready

The discussion guide for Acts of Faith, the 2011-12 “Common Read” of the Unitarian Universalist Association, is available now from the Ministries and Faith Development Staff Group as part of its online Tapestry of Faith resources.

In Acts of Faith, author Eboo Patel shares his faith journey as an American Muslim. He discusses how he was called to found the Interfaith Youth Core. Acts of Faith explores the appeal of religious fundamentalism to young people, noting that their spiritual hunger is tied to their desire to make a mark on the world. He encourages support of young people, helping them ground themselves in a faith that fuels their passions and inspires them to work across faiths to create a better world.

The discussion guide, available free online, is suitable for youth, young adult, campus, adult, and cross-generational Common Read groups. It offers materials for a single ninety-minute session or for three ninety-minute sessions, each expandable to two hours. It also provides the option of splitting the single ninety-minute session into two shorter sessions for those congregations that want to use it in a regular Sunday morning forum or discussion group.

Contact Gail Forsyth-Vail, the UUA’s Adult Programs director, for more information. Acts of Faith, published by Beacon Press, is available through the UUA bookstore with discounts for multiple copies.

Fellowship hosts interfaith night

A journey of multicultural understanding can begin with a single invitation. The 31-member UU Fellowship of Hidalgo County, San Juan, Texas, through its Community Outreach Committee and an interfaith group, People for Peace and Justice, invited members of the local Muslim community for an evening of conversation at the fellowship.

More than 40 people from various faith traditions gathered on Sept. 25 to share food and watch the film Amreeka about a Palestinian family that immigrates to the U.S.  There was discussion after the film. Participants also created a “friendship banner” by writing words of hope and friendship across it. The imam of the local mosque spoke for about 10 minutes through a translator.

“The purpose of the gathering was to promote solidarity from people of different faiths, with a specific focus on our Muslim brothers and sisters,” said Caren Smith, former president of the fellowship. She added, “We’re proud of our members and friends who spend their time and energy keeping the light and wisdom of Unitarian Universalism shining in our community.”

San Juan is on the border with Mexico, near McAllen, Texas. The fellowship was organized in 1959.