Erin Williams on Plurality 2.0

This piece is part of an on-going blog series called Plurality 2.0 (watch video here). Full schedule of guest authors throughout April and May is available here.

Erin Williams is the Media Coordinator at the Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based international non-profit that builds mutual respect and pluralism among people from different religious and moral traditions by empowering them to work together to serve others. Erin has lived and worked in documentary, media, research, and outreach capacities in Chicago, Barcelona, Boston, D.C., and Johannesburg.

We will not forget, and we will not forgive…


If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star…

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider—
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give – yes or no, or maybe—
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.

– William Stafford, A Ritual to Read to Each Other

“We will not forget, and we will not forgive,” read the t-shirt of a man who walked into the Chicago subway car where I was sitting one morning. The words were boldly printed in slanted black cursive over an image of the burning Twin Towers, with a large Bald Eagle flying in front of the collapsing buildings.

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Br. Jason Welle OFM on Plurality 2.0

This piece is part of an on-going blog series called Plurality 2.0 (watch video here). Full schedule of guest authors throughout April and May is available here.

Br. Jason Welle is a Franciscan Friar of the Assumption BVM Province, centered in Wisconsin. After growing up in a small town in Central Minnesota, he completed a BA in English, Religion, and Middle Eastern Studies at St. Olaf College (’01) and an MTS in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame (’03). He will complete his MDiv at the Catholic Theological Union in May and be ordained a deacon in June. He currently resides in Chicago and eagerly awaits a full-time pastoral assignment for his deaconate.

jasonWhen I pondered the series title, “Plurality 2.0,” I found myself wondering, as have other bloggers, “what was Plurality 1.0?” Our Franciscan order celebrates 800 years this year since Pope Innocent III gave oral approval to our way of life in 1209, so I wondered if Saint Francis of Assisi might be an example of Plurality 1.0. We often laud Francis as an example of openness and tolerance during a time of violence, animosity, and theological contempt between different races and religions. He traveled to Egypt during the fifth crusade and crossed the battle lines unarmed, asking to speak to the Sultan, an encounter enshrined in the minds of friars interested in interreligious dialogue. Having received the hospitality of the Sultan, Francis returned to Italy a changed man and we see these changes in our rule of life.

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Christians & Jews discuss Emergent Sacred Communities

From what little I’ve heard so far, it sounds like the meeting between Christian and Jewish leaders on Emergent Sacred Communities was a huge success this past week. Emergent-US and Synagogue 3000 met together to discuss the creation of new sacred communities, and it there is now a Jewish Emergent movement. I’m very excited by this opportunity to meet and discuss with progressive Jews about community formation and spirituality. I hope this is just the beginning of future times of dialogue and joint-endeavors between  emergent Christians, Jews and hopefully those from other faiths.

Shawn Landres, with S3K, is doing a great job of updating the most recent articles and blog posts about the event, so you should be reading the Synablog. But here is a post where he quotes some different reactions (is it lame to link to a blog post that links to yours, and has you quoted? oh well) – quite varied reactions, of course. I’m sure it’s been made clear, but I have nothing but hope and support for ventures like this. But I am really interested in whether there are Emergent Muslims too…Anyone out there want to fill us in on some emerging mosques? It’s clear that “emergent” is not just a Christian-fad – but is a much wider and greater phenomenon….