Archive for the ‘Buddhism’ Category

When I went to the Interfaith Council meeting last Wednesday, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Yet as I sat at the tables set up for the forum, I realized… this is kind of a big deal.

The Interfaith Council has groups from all over Columbia, some churches and some volunteer and service organizations. It was a small group of passionate people that are really trying to live what they care about.

And I thought, how much of Columbia knows about this council?

I had never heard of it, but granted, before working as a Missourian reporter I was a sheltered college student living on campus.

But there were over 20 different organizations represented on the docket. People from

Voluntary Action Center,


Meals on Wheels,

Love, INC and

the Adult Day Connection

were there (along with, oh, only about 16 other groups). This is a place where they can all come together from their different spheres and communicate about what’s going on.

Yet in the undertones, I also sensed something else: a little frustration. It was nothing off-putting, but just the sincere concern of people trying to do the best they can: how do you get other people’s attention, and then get them to care?

For instance, the Thanksgiving Interfaith Celebration that they had (Madoline wrote a blog about it, here) had about 120 people show up to it. And what’s more, Mayor Darwin Hindman himself came, and delivered a city decree that named that day – Nov. 25 – Columbia Interfaith Council Thanksgiving Day.


That seems to be a big deal… yet it wasn’t covered.

And I’m realizing more, this is
what the blog is about. Reporters at the Missourian want to make connections in the community – you, readers – so we can see what is important to you, what should be covered, and what you want to see more of.

So thanks for speaking up, and we’d all love more of it in the new year to come.

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For me, the word thanksgiving conjures up visions of gatherings with family to eat turkey and all the “fixings.” Though my family has a tradition of each saying one thing we’re thankful for before we eat our holiday meal, I often fail to properly recognize what it means to give thanks on this day. If I wasn’t already planning to be out of town on Tuesday, I would attend what promises to be a meaningful reminder of how I should center my thoughts around giving thanks in this season.

An interfaith thanksgiving celebration will be held Tuesday, November 18 at 6 p.m. in the Mark Twain Ballroom of Memorial Union on the MU campus. Members representing six of the world’s religious traditions will make ten-minute presentations in dance, song, poetry, and storytelling reflecting their religious traditions of thankfulness. There will be a musical interlude 15 minutes before the start of the celebration. Refreshments will be served.

The event, sponsored by the Columbia Interfaith Council, is free and open to all. This year’s theme is embracing our commonalities and dignifying our diversity in a welcoming Columbia community.There will be a monetary collection to support the Interfaith Day Center and local food pantries. 

Check out the video below from last year’s event posted by Congregation Beth Shalom here.


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According to an article in The New York Times, people in Japan have taken a pluralistic approach to religion for a long time. Elements from Buddhism, Shinto and Christianity have been incorporated into Japanese society. However, Buddhism now appears to be losing standing in Japan.

Ryoko Mori, the chief priest at the 700-year-old Zuikoji Temple in northern Japan said:

“In Islam or Christianity, they hold sermons on spiritual matters. But in Japan nowadays, very few Buddhist priests do that. If Japanese Buddhism doesn’t act now, it will die out. We can’t afford to wait. We have to do something.”

Buddhist temples are facing difficulties finding priests. Also, funeral traditions in Japan have changed recently. Funerals used to be held in homes or temples and a Buddhist priest would reside over the service. Now, many people in Japan use funeral homes or choose cremation.

Read the full article here

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The Vipassanna Buddhist Church in Jefferson City celebrated Vesak, the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha on Saturday. The focus was on activities for children, with face painting and mandala or sand painting.
Read the full story and see photos from the event here.
Learn more about Buddhism here.
Learn more about the Vipassanna Church here.

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A Jewish online organization has questioned the application process of the coordinators of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, according to USA Today.

Jews on First has said that the organizational structure of the Day of Prayer is excluding non-Christian faiths and is causing a division along religious lines.

Click here for more.

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‘Bitter’ remarks cloud faith, values forum

Obama tackles Catholic challenge

Uncertain Church Awaits Pope in U.S.

Bush Readies Big Welcome for Pope

Pope and Bush have foreign policy differences

Polygamy case poses ‘logistical nightmare’ for courts

Tex. Compound Was Considered A ‘Holy Land’

Child Rape Tests Limits Of Death Penalty

Quick cuts part of Passover tradition

Skillfully preserving Jewish ritual

Source: Religion Newswriters Association

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Amid large protests in London and Paris, Olympic officials are considering altering the itinerary of the Olympic torch relay, The New York Times reported.

China, host to the 2008 summer games, has faced harsh criticism of its human rights record, particularly in response to the government’s harsh crackdown on Tibetan separatists last month, from protesters as the torch has made its trek around the world.

The torch arrived in San Francisco this morning.

Read more.

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