This last Friday night I began attending a series of potlucks that will take place throughout this next school year with New Wine, New Wineskins in their Buddhist dialogue project (explained here).
We just got together for a vegeterian potluck and introduced ourselves and discussed why we were interested in getting to know each other. This is the third continuous year of these dialogues, but my first that I have been able to attend since being a student at Multnomah Biblical Seminary. I really enjoyed it because I felt like I got to hear a part of their journey and shared some of my own. We will discuss theological and social issues at these potlucks and find out what each of us believe in order to know each other more authentically and respect the differences we have, as well as celebrate our similarities.
Here are some principles that our talks are centered around:
– Be hospitable, not hostile.
– Be inquisitive, not inquisitional.
– Go through our convictions, instead of around them.
The atmosphere that I sensed at the first meeting was very warming and inquiring as far as questions that were entertained for the Buddhists and Christians present. I am really looking forward to learning more about Buddhism than I did in my World Religion’s class this last summer and to hear the individual faith journeys that we have been on. This can help me to learn how to engage culture and our multi-faith society more graciously and carefully to disarm animosity and overcome amnesia that can come from being from different religions.