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Higher Ground


"Let's love each other,
let's cherish each other, my friend,
before we lose each other."
- Rūmī, a selection from Gold; translated by Haleh Liza Gafori

The reality of love is our most powerful asset...and, may be the very ingredient to provide a step toward healing ourselves and our world. How can this be so, when the last few weeks in January have been difficult to bear? We have all been affected by the mass shootings in southern California, the killing of Tyre Nichols, the continuous limbo of our migrant neighbors, weather-related displacements and deaths, and our families and friends for whom diagnoses, strife, and separation are reality.

Where is the Love?

It has been said that to truly love one another (and even to love our self), we must embrace the child within. When we see those laboring mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually as adults, it is an invitation to hold close to the inner child who missed a connection with a parent, to draw near to the inner child who was left behind, left out, or left alone, and to embrace the inner child who has longed to be seen and heard by the world. Yes, this is a difficult practice, but may be necessary for the healing and repair of our world. 

Krista Tippett, host of the On Being podcast, begins nearly every interview by asking her guest about the spiritual or religious background of their childhood. This is a kind of level setting and a tapping into the guest's context and invites an authenticity in the conversation. Project Unity, our partners for the "Together, We Dine" events, often begin the dinner table conversations with questions about understandings of race and race relations of our childhoods. There is something about holding the uniqueness of our childhoods and an other's childhood as an invitation to Love. In the month of February, take your conversations to a Higher Ground by exploring your own and all others' childhoods to tap into the greatest asset we can share: Love. 

Featured News


The above was said by one of the participants after the Interfaith Alliance training event on January 11. Faith Forward Dallas and the Interfaith Council funded the training, which was an in-person, day-long, practical event including faith leaders, clergy and lay alike, growing our development of non-partisan, holistic advocacy with congregations and across divides. We also hosted a special guest (via Zoom), Fred Guttenberg, father to his daughter Jamie who was killed at Parkland High School. Fred has done significant advocacy work in Florida regarding gun sense and inspired us to focus on one singular aspect when it comes to gun safety and responses to mass shootings: “I only believe in saving lives.” 

(Pictured: The Reverend Paul Brandeis Raushenbush) 

The World Affairs Council hosted the A Global Moment in Time: Peace and Justice State Department international visitor exchange group at the Thanks-Giving Square on January 23. The conversation was a rich one with members of Faith Forward Dallas at Thanks-Giving Sqaure. Our members in attendance were Rev. Virzola Law, Rabbi Dr. Andrew Paley, Huseyin Peker, Imam Azhar Subedar, and Rev. Dr. Neil Thomas. The visitor exchange group were visiting from Europe, Asia, and South America. What emerged from the conversation was a vision for multi-faith friendships and collaboration in the work of social equity and justice. The conversation illuminated our international visitors to the possibility of multi-faith collaboration in their communities. 

The Thanks-Giving Foundation was invited to join the South Dallas Employment Project (SDEP) and attend their legislative trip. There were representatives of forty organizations of the over 150 organizational partners who attended to talk with legislators on subjects ranging from transportation, jobs, healthcare access, public education, and broadband access. This three day event engaged over twenty gubenatorial staff members and legislators. SDEP was established in February, 2020 by Redemption Bridge, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit intermediary, in partnership with the State Fair of Texas, supported by the City of Dallas. The overarching objective is the development and implementation of a sustainable, scalable, replicable Model to support opportunity populations living in or returning to Dallas, initially focused on 5 identified contiguous zip codes in South and Southern Dallas. The primary purpose is two-fold: (1) to assist individuals obtain the skills, competencies, knowledge and capabilities necessary to lead sustainable lives, and (2) to help employers meet their unmet demand for a skilled, trained workforce.


Upcoming Events

FAITHS IN CONVERSATION, Monday, February 13th

Our Inter-Faith Council is hosting "Faiths in Conversation: Ethic of Creation Care." Participants will join this monthly on-line series via a ZOOM link that will be provided upon registration


Celebrations & Invitations: Faith Forward Dallas & Interfaith Council

Faith Forward Dallas members participated in the City of Dallas' MLK Day of Prayeon January 12; Faith Leaders included Dr. Damien N. Williams (New Hope Baptist Church), Rev. Yinessa Romero (Cathedral of Hope), Bishop Keith Earl (Dallas Texas Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints), Rev. Amos Disasa (First Presbyterian Church, Dallas), Rev. Kerry Sumpter Smith (White Rock United Methodist Church), Rev. Virzola Law (Northway Christian Church; pictured), Rev. Stacey Brown, Rabbi Shira Wallach (Congregation Shearith Israel), and Deacon Michael Ross (Potter’s House). 

The Interfaith Council will continue to engage in North Texas' faith communities. Through education, engagement, and empowerment, the Interfaith Council will grow in our individual faiths, while exploring faiths not our own. Educationally, the Interfaith Council will read together a collection of Rūmī's selected works called Gold; this is a gorgeous new translation by the poet and performer Haleh Liza Gafori. (Our first Rūmī Zoom gathering will be February 1 at 6 p.m.) Member engagements will include faith community tours, a day of service, and our festivals. We will also empower one another through compassionate conversation on our local and global concerns through our Faiths in Conversation partnerships.

Gratitude Spotlight

Each month, visitors (of all ages) leave about 500 expressions of gratitude on our Gratitude Wall inside the Chapel of Thanks-Giving. Here (below) is a sampling of a few of our recent favorites. You are invited to leave your own personal expression of gratitude on our Gratitude Wall when you visit Thanks-Giving Square, or online when you visit our Facebook Page.
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