Personal statements written by clergy on April 2, 2008
Six years of association with a multi-faith clergy association has helped me to see my role in the community in wider perspective. I have learned how other faith traditions respond to the specific challenges of leading, growing and nurturing communities of faith. I’ve received useful ideas that I can translate into my own work as a minister. I have expanded my understanding and appreciation of other faiths. Our differences as well as our commonalities have strengthened my understanding of my calling. I have made professional connections and developed collegial support that has proved invaluable
There are many benefits of being part of the Peninsula’s clergy. First is the reminder that I am not alone in the work and ministry to which I am called. There are 400 clergy persons on the Peninsula involved in transformation and restoration of people’s lives and communities in which they serve and beyond.
Second, I appreciated its multi-faith aspect. A profound respect exists among those who gather. We have ways of saying this in different traditions.
Third, the clergy network provides an opportunity to grow in my faith as I learn from other clergy and faith traditions.
Fourth, it provides with an awesome opportunity to network and meet others in the community from various professions.
The great benefit is the opportunity to cordially share perspectives, insights, theology, ministry challenges, solutions, directions, etc with other spiritual leaders, sometimes with traditions radically different from my own. This knowledge enhances my own walk with God, my preaching, my understanding, my tolerance and my own day-to-day ministry. It is invaluable and my prayer is that such cooperative efforts will rebound to the benefit of the community at large.
I have been a priest of the Roman Catholic Church for 38 years and in all that time I have never had the to opportunity to sit and engage with clergy outside my own tradition. I am so pleased to listen to an Imam, an Adventist and a woman ordained in the Congregational Church. This kind of truly ecumenical sharing money can’t buy.
One of the great benefits of having such a “social” clergy community is that we can share our thoughts and experiences. It is also a great opportunity to meet others in the same profession and learn new things. (Keeping in mind many organizations only employ one clergy person as opposed to the corporate world, where everyone working in one group may be of the same profession.)
We are free to express ourselves and share our joys and troubles from our congregations without having to worry about congregation members being displeased with our comments!!
Being able to associate with other clergy of various faith traditions has helped me more richly understand and appreciate their beliefs in order to come together to build a community that is informed and equipped to handle the challenges of our age.
Understanding and appreciating other faiths and traditions. Sensing the empathy other clergy have with the same experience I go through.
The clarifying that comes to me of what I believe and why. The underlining of the fact that “God” works through many different approaches to life and religion.
Rabbi Jay Miller RELIGION SECTOR 3.0
1.0 On the Town Square 2.0 Walls of Separation
3.0 Alignment: Among Congregations – Within Society