We live in an increasingly diverse, and, sadly, divided world. Too often we have forgotten how to be in dialogue with each other, how to live as the New Testament writer James suggests when he says we need to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”
But if we’re going to survive in this diverse world, we are going to have to learn how to be in conversation with each other.
That’s why I was so excited Friday night when our eighth grade confirmation students and their mentors worshiped together at Temple Beth Tikvah on Coleman Road. What a very special time it was for us to experience a different faith tradition and to learn more about our own heritage and history as people of the Book. Special thanks to Rabbi Greene for hanging around after worship to answer questions from our students!
Our confirmation students experienced a conversation we’ll all be able to have on the next three Thursday evenings.
Beginning this week, March 13, Rabbi Fred Greene of Beth Tikvah, Mr. Bassem Fakhoury of the Roswell Community Masjid, Rev. Mary Cox of RPC, and I are going to be in a conversation with each other and with the community. For three Thursday nights, from 8:00 until 9:30, we’re going to have a dialogue about our respective faith traditions.
This week we’ll be meeting at Temple Beth Tikvah; On March 20 we’ll be at the Roswell Community Masjid; and on March 27 we’ll be at Roswell Presbyterian Church. The event is open to the public, and we hope you’ll come and join in the conversation.
Our hope is that we will learn more about each other as Christian, Muslim, and Jew, but even more importantly, we hope that in this diverse world we’ll have a chance to learn how to listen and talk with each other.
There is too much hatred, too much animosity, too much misunderstanding in our world. It’s time for some respectful and thoughtful dialogue.
I hope you can join us for any or all of our gatherings. Our world needs to learn how to talk with each other! I’m praying that Bassem, Fred, Mary and I will be able to model what it means to have a respectful and thoughtful conversation!
Feel free to invite your friends and join us!
Dr. Lane Alderman
Roswell Presbyterian Church