The picture to the left of this text is from a wedding that I had the honor of celebrating. Over the last eleven years I have had the pleasure of celebrating many weddings for people from diverse backgrounds. Some of them contacted me because although they had a church home their church insisted that they be married inside their church building, and they wanted to be married outside or at some other venue. Many of them called me because they had been waiting for an annulment from the Catholic Church, sometimes for several years, and had decided they weren’t willing to let the Church hold their lives captive any longer. Still others, the majority of the couples I have worked with, didn’t feel led to participate in a traditional Church but still wanted to include their spirituality in their wedding and so wanted a member of the clergy to celebrate their commitment to one another. In every case, it was love that brought the couple together and, as oxymoronic as it is, the Church was standing in the way of love. Actually, what stood in the way of love were the human made rules that the Church had adopted – rules that they deemed more important than people.
I couldn’t disagree more with that perspective. As I have studied the great spiritual traditions of human history, one of the common threads that runs through them all is the value of love, empathy, and compassion. Those three things are the heart of the spirituality presented on these pages. I was raised a Christian, and raised in a Judeo-Christian culture. As an adult I have studied, worshiped, and led worship in many different Christian environments. I have also, for the past fifteen years, been a student of Buddhism and have found great riches in that tradition, as well. One of the interesting things about studying another tradition is that it quite often opens up your understanding of the tradition in which you were raised, as well. That certainly has been my experience. I have studied, and continue to study, other traditions as well, including Hinduism, Taoism, Islam, Judaism, and Indigenous Spiritualities. I believe that if we are to have peace in our time, we must understand one anothers spiritual lives.
Thank you again for joining me on the journey!
People frequently ask me why many of my websites have interfaith symbols on them. That’s a fair question. There are many reasons. As I mentioned in the welcome section on this page, I believe interfaith understanding is the key to world peace. I also believe that God is infinitely vast – so vast, in fact, that it would be impossible for any one system of belief to fully grasp or explain God. One of my favorite metaphors for God is a giant mirror ball, which each mirror on the ball representing one understanding of one branch of one faith tradition. If you have ever seen a mirror ball you know that its full beauty is only appreciated when it is spinning and you can see light reflecting off of many different mirrors. So it is with spirituality!