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A Zoom Series of Reflections from
Spiritual Leaders of the Abrahamic Family of Faith

4 Wednesdays, April 22 – May 13, 2020
Hosted by MAS Boston and CMM

Register and receive the Zoom link

This week’s speakers:

  • Rabbi Allison L. Berry is honored to serve as co-senior rabbi of Temple Shalom of Newton and work in partnership with Rabbi Abrasley as they lead the clergy and staff team of the congregation. Rabbi Berry joined the Temple Shalom community in 2011 as the Associate Rabbi and Director of the Grades K-6 SHACHARIT Education program. She is deeply committed to the fact that Temple Shalom is a diverse community, welcoming people of traditional and non-traditional backgrounds, interfaith families, Jewish-by-choice, non-Jewish partners, members of the LGBTQ community, people with physical, social or cognitive challenges and those searching for meaning.
  • Rev. C. Max Olmstead, PhD came to The Dover Church in 2009, with his wife and two boys. A Massachusetts native and lifelong member of the United Church of Christ, Max brings a passion for the experience of God to ministry. Whether in worship, or teaching yoga and meditation, chatting over coffee, or sharing stories of our life with God, Max seeks to help people find words for their faith, making God accessible, practical, applicable, and personal. When he was a professor of Old Norse, Vikings and Swedish language, Max lived in Colorado, California, Seattle, WA, Iceland and Sweden. When not doing things with his family or around the church, Max loves to fly fish for trout and striped bass, practice and teach yoga, kayak/canoe, run, hike and bike in the woods, and keep bees.
  • Imam Dr. Khalil Abdur-Rashid is the first full-time University Muslim Chaplain at Harvard University, Instructor of Muslim Studies at Harvard Divinity School, and Public Policy Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He serves all Muslim students at Harvard, supervises the staff of the Harvard University Office of the Chaplain and also serves on the Board of Religious, Spiritual and Ethical Life at Harvard.

This 4-week program that brings together congregations from the three Abrahamic traditions (Muslim, Christian and Jewish) and other interested persons. 12 faith community leaders (a representative three at each of 4 gatherings), will each offer advice to the community regarding some of the questions below (and others as they see fit), and then to open it for the congregants to reflect, ask questions, etc. The questions might be the following:

  1. What is the role of God in this pandemic?
  2. What is the role of spirituality and religion?
  3. What is the role of people of faith?
  4. How can we connect more with our spiritual being and God so that we can help the world overcome this crisis?
  5. What do we tell our children when they ask why is God doing this?
  6. And many others

This program starts on Wednesday, April 22, and ends on Wednesday, May 13, running for an hour each consecutive Wednesday from 5:30-6:30 in the evenings (Except for April 22, we will start at 6:15). 

This period of time is sacred to each of these three traditions and symbolic of fresh transcendent revelation. For Muslims it falls during the sacred month of Ramadan, April 23 – May 23, and calls to mind the year 610 A.D. when it is believed that the angel Gabriel appeared to Prophet Muhammad and revealed to him the Quran, the Islamic holy book. For Christians this period begins after Easter (W: April 12; E: April 19) and ends with Pentecost (W: May 31; E: June 7), 50 days after Easter Sunday which commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and disciples of Jesus while they were in Jerusalem to celebrate the Jewish Feast of Weeks. Shavuot (Feast of Weeks) commemorates the revelation of the Torah to Moses and the Jewish people on Mount Sinai, May 28-30.

This program represents a chance for faith leaders to provide more guidance to our congregations regarding the role of spirituality and faith in these trying times, and to leverage this as an opportunity to anchor the faithful to God, in order to come closer to Him, to pray more, and to find answers to big questions that are often posed during a crisis. If faith leaders unite on this purpose we might collectively find an ecumenical and interfaith role in the whole of our societies toward a closer relationship with God or the mystically transcendent, which would benefit everyone.

For more information, please contact :
Hossam Al-Jabri of MAS Boston Hossam.aljabri@gmail.com
Rodney Petersen  rlp@coopmet.org  (617) 331-1747