On November 7th Co-convener Molly Housh Gordon welcomes clergy, laity, and other representatives of Columbia’s interfaith community to a Faith Assembly hosted by Bethel Baptist Church.
Represented at Bethel that night were members of the Islamic Center of Columbia, Hillel Jewish Campus House, Show Me Dharma, VA chaplaincy, the United Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ Church, the Presbyterian Church, the Baptist Church, Congregation Beth Shalom, the Lutheran Church, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbia
We open our assembly with prayer and then learned a very important lesson on listening and hearing. What’s the difference between listening and hearing? In Hebrew, the word for “listen” shares a root with the physical “ear,” while it’s the word for “hear” that has a deeper meaning. There is no word for “obey.” The word is “hear,” as in, “Hear, O Israel, the LORD your God, the LORD is one.”
Campaigns of listening are intentional, structured times to gain understanding and build relationships by sharing stories developing a plan for and a commitment to action. Styles and structures vary as is authentic for the particular community but the goals are creating space to share stories, make connections between stories and policy, and making an invitation to action.
On that night the Bethel community learned about the first step in discerning our call to justice: listening. At the Assembly, attendees were trained in how to host and facilitate conversations in our congregations and neighborhoods so our justice agenda is firmly rooted in the dreams and struggles of our community.
To learn more about Missouri Faith Voices of Columbia, please visit their website at http://www.missourifaithvoices.org/columbia/