Spiritual Growth Fellowship

"Bringing together people of all faiths in trust and friendship, to worship and communicate, without fear or prejudice"

Explantion of Faiths

There are commonalities and differences in Interfaith denominations.Besides the difference between public and private occasions, broad distinctions can be made between several types of interfaith worship.

1. Members of one faith may *invite guests* of one or more other faiths to attend their usual act of worship. The guests' presence may be acknowledged just by a special greeting, or a visitor may be asked to read from his or her scriptures, say a prayer or perhaps speak. Christians might choose hymns centered on God rather than on Christ to make it easier for Jews and Muslims to participate.

If the service is a Eucharist, there are different views about inviting members of other faiths who may wish to receive communion. Christians invited to other places of worship will normally observe traditional practices such as removing
shoes before entering a temple or mosque, or covering the head before going into a synagogue or gurdwara. One or more of the visitors may be invited to speak and perhaps to share in the ritual, especially at Shinto or Native
American ceremonies. Visitors may be given food offerings which are customarily shared among devotees (prasad), although some Christians see this as partaking in food offered to idols, which Paul discouraged (1 Corinthians 8).

2. The most common forms of interfaith worship are those in which members of each faith in turn offer prayers, readings or devotional songs - perhaps in alphabetical or historical order of the religions. Prayers specific to a
particular tradition are offered in the presence of people of other faiths, but no prayers are said together. This clearly ensures the distinctiveness of each faith tradition, but besides making the occasion over-long, may emphasize difference rather than commonality, leaving those present observers rather than participants. At such serial* 'inter-faith observances *' people are said to 'be together to pray' rather than 'praying together'. Such events evade theological questions about the relation of religions to each other.

3. Another form of interfaith worship is designed as a *united service*. The various readings, prayers and devotional songs are linked together round a central theme, such as peace, protection of the environment or celebration of a special event. Participants may be invited to join in an affirmation or act of commitment, to say prayers together and to sing well-known hymns. Symbolic actions to express unity may be introduced, such as giving everyone
a flower or a lighted candle. Critics say these liturgies obscure the distinctiveness of religions. The venue may give a special character to the event, as for instance in the case of the Commonwealth Day Act of Witness held each year in Westminster Abbey. Many temples, however, are not designed for congregational worship. Some argue that interfaith worship should be in a neutral building, but this may deprive it of colour and character.

4. Yet another form of worship could be described as '*universalist* ', a term which would apply to some services of the Brahmo Samaj and the Unitarian Universalists, who regard all religions as humans searching for the Divine rather than authoritative revelation. Such an approach has considerable appeal today for those who see themselves as 'spiritual' but do not identify with a particular faith community.

The Spiritual Growth Fellowship and it's ministers have affiliation with the United Fellowship of Interfaith Ministers,

For additional information about interfaith and spiritual beliefs please follow the following links.

www.religioustolerance.org      and       www.sbnr.org  (Spiritual But Not Religious)

By reading the text, clicking on the videos and links below it is our hope that you may learn more about different faiths and paths of worship

Buddhism:   http://www.religioustolerance.org/buddhism.htm

Christianity: www.religioustolerance.org/christ.htm

Hinduism: www.religioustolerance.org/hinduism.htm

Islam: religioustolerance.org/islam.htm

Judaism: www.religioustolerance.org/judaism.htm

Wicca/ Neo Paganism: www.religioustolerance.org/witchcra.htm

Other Religions: www.religioustolerance.org/var_rel.htm

Comparing Religions:

Non Theistic




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