Many people are not happy with the way things are going in our lives, our communities, our nation, and our world. It is always possible to obsess on the negative, to complain, to criticize, to gossip and to make excuses for the way things are. But there is another path. We, you and I, individually and together, can find an area in our life, our community, our nation, our world, to make a difference. We don’t have to fix everything. But we can find a place where our passion meets the needs of the world. And finding that place we can try to make a difference in that one area.
One of my goals for the past year was to find a way to make a difference in our community. Along this line one of my dreams is beginning to take shape. I sense the opportunity for the reemergence of a genuine interfaith community for the Olean area. As many of you know that has been one of my long term goals to see genuine interfaith work reappear in our locale.
I feel so honored work with Rich Reilly and to be part of a wonderful event in our Community. On February 13, 2018, at 7pm an interfaith forum on generosity will be held at the Meditation Center located at 2275 Dugan Rd, Olean, NY, 14760.
This event is a follow-up to last year’s gathering. And it is my hope that this will be the start of the rebirth of our interfaith community. It is my understanding that we used to have one and due to many circumstances the organization faded, but not the desire. My vision is that we will come together in a spirit of respect, honesty and faith and seek understanding of our commonalities and of our differences.
I see sharing of our common faith-based roots as vital, but I also think learning how we differ in approach and belief is a way to develop genuine understanding.
I see this gathering as a step toward that vision. During this time together we will see how our different faith communities approach one of our commonalities – generosity.
We have a great panel to lead us. So far the following panelists have been identified: Fr. Greg Dobson (Christianity), Brenda Snyder (Baha’i Faith), Dr. Srinivas Thandla (Hinduism), Dr. Richard Reilly (Buddhism), and Gary Abraham (Judaism). A representative for Islam for the panel is in process.
I hope you will save the date for this and help us plant the seeds for a vibrant interfaith fellowship in our community. From these roots other events with spring like future panels, gatherings of understanding and the National Day of Prayer observance May 3rd.
I am currently trying to build a contact list of people who would like to be involved in this kind of ongoing process. If you could send me your email address I will add you to the list. I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.