Interfaith Encounters Day 1

All this week I will be with students from Alvernia University and their campus ministry director.
We will experience 6 different religious communities and engage in service-learning with two organizations.
Follow us on our journey!

Today we went to the Church of Latter Day Saints in Center City Philadelphia.
We met with 3 members of the community who are missionaries, as they are known in their tradition. They gave us a tour of the building and we even sat in on a children’s class. We heard their personal stories and learned about their perspectives on what it means to be a Mormon.
Afterwards, we experienced their sacrament service comprised of singing, speakers, prayer, the sacrament (bread and water) and scripture readings.
We were welcomed warmly and learned a lot!

Reflecting on the experience, I particularly will remember what Ammon, one of the speakers shared:
Being a missionary is not necessarily about getting more people to the church. It is an everyday action of sharing love with people in life.

Also, I was greatly encouraged by their interest in pursuing service or social work with others, i.e. Cooperation.

Let’s see what tomorrow may bring!
We will be at the HMS school for children with cerebral palsy and Inglis House.
See you then!

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Josh grew up in Indiana and Iowa before completing a Masters of Divinity [M.Div.] at Princeton Theological Seminary [NJ]. He has worked in a variety of settings, including the Presbyterian Church (USA) and United Church of Christ (UCC) in Philadelphia, Hawai’i, Mexico, and Michigan. Currently, he serves as pastor of Love in Action United Church of Christ, a progressive, Christian, LGBTQIA+ affirming and interfaith community in Hatboro, a suburb of Philadelphia. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/Speech from Northwestern College (IA). Josh has worked with youth and young adult programs for 25 years regionally, nationally, and in Latin America. He is also a trained actor and performs regularly with the dinner theatre company, Without a Cue Productions, LLC. He has developed theatre arts curriculum for use in worship, youth groups, education, and group-building. Josh is also committed to promoting religious pluralism and partnering with people of all faiths and those who identify as atheist or agnostic to build bridges of shared values and cooperation. He is honored to work with the Interfaith Center of Greater Philadelphia as a Fellow and a Consultant. Focus areas include: University alternative spring break and summer programs that incorporate faith encounters and service-learning for students; workplace diversity programs that promote understanding in organizations, corporations, schools, and hospital settings. Josh also enjoys playing basketball, strumming on the guitar, traveling, learning language, or making strange and funny faces. He lives in Center City Philadelphia and thinks vegan cheesesteaks are amazingly good.

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