Interfaith Encounters Day 7

Our last time together was spent at the Germantown Jewish Centre.

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We had a bit of an orientation on Friday with Rabbi Reena and therefore were somewhat familiar with the building and what to expect in the morning Shabbat service.

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This particular day was important to this community, as they were remembering and honoring an individual who worked for many years as the building maintenance manager. Though he was a Christian, this Jewish community considered him “one of theirs” and he was especially beloved.

Also, the synagogue community was preparing for a panel on racial justice and conversation related to the life and example of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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After hearing Hebrew prayers and watching the Torah scroll make its entrance and exit, it was time for the Alvernia group to go back to school.

It was an outstanding week of learning, interacting, and questioning.

I was impressed with the students’ curiosity and willingness to stretch their comfort zones. I was also very grateful for the enthusiasm and leadership of Brian, their campus ministry leader.

I am sure this week will continue to shape me for a long time.

Thanks for journeying with us!

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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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