GES Education Committee: Who We Are, What We Do

August 9, 2011

in Other

The volunteer  Education Committee is responsible for planning approximately six programs a year, one of which is a two day event. Individual committee members are usually responsible for the organization of one or two of our activities. We work in pairs or form larger groups in order to get the programs ready. This involves contacting the speaker, booking the facility, dealing with the advertising , website , and so on. We have about six meetings a year in which we decide on our focus, deal with difficulties which may have arisen and brainstorm/search for for programs which may be of interest to our members and the community at large.  The work our group does has varied from year to year but the underlying theme is to constantly try to promote understanding of the world's various religious communities and spiritual paths, and hence tolerance, respect and peace. We are also aware that each of us is traveling our own spiritual journey and we need to ensure that this is nurtured and respected.

At our July meeting we brainstormed what our understanding of ecumenism is at this particular time. The following comments were made:

Ecumenism: "That we all may be one"

  • Looking at what the different faiths and spiritual traditions have in common, identifying and respecting the differences. As a way of seeking peace, harmony , respect and tolerance among all.
  • An exploration and appreciation of various spiritual paths Christian and non Christian: a willingness to be open minded and accepting of the various spiritual paths. A realization that this journey can be a source of spiritual maturity.
  • A state of mind, safe house, Christian love of my fellowman preceeds a label i.e. RC , Anglican etc. We are 'safe' for those who are not part of a recognized faith group.
  • Involves reaching out to people of other spiritual beliefs, seeking to understand where these come from. It also involves celebrating what we have in common.
  • Involves getting people of different spiritual beliefs together and making an effort to understand.
  • Interchurch and multi faith, it fosters Christian understanding between faith groups e.g. Christian/Non Christian. It involves not dismissing any faith or practice.
  • An appreciation for the spiritual values of others.
  • Reaching out to other spiritual groups and organizations for information and mutual discussion. Achieving an understanding of the moderate and extremist views of religions. Exploring how divergent positions such as faith and atheism can exist, being respecrful. A broad base of thinking about spirituality.

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