Listening to Calls for Unity
January 2022 Newsletter
By Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement
January 4, 2022
A Listening Year ~ January 2022
January 2022 Coordinator’s Column
Listening to the Calls for Unity around the World
LISTEN HERE tto the Coordinator‘s Column on Soundcloud
The Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement, is growing into the New Year. We have another opportunity for all of us to begin anew. This month in our listening year we are listening to the Calls for Unity around the World. As a Christian and a Buddhist, unity is a pretty important theme for me. What I know is that our listening and action in the world does not happen in isolation if we desire transformation; these must always happens in community.
We are listening to the cries and the joys that matter to the future of the Center in this university, in society, and within the world. This month our Center Scholars continue to work on their project, "Gratitude, Injury, and Repair in a Pandemic Age." Our Director sits at the Center Round Table in discussion with two of our scholars: Dr. Douglas Peduti SJ. and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward Donalson III. You can join them around the table for a deep conversation focused primarily on how those in the US have dealt with and will live out of this pandemic age.
Also, acknowledging this time of Epiphany we look for unity at a time when people often feel alone. For this we are grateful to our Center Advisory Council, who in December and January offer us prayerful reflections and meditations. These are read aloud by our Center Student Affiliates and other members of our team. Our Advisory Council members make these offerings from their hearts and grounded in their diverse faith traditions. Helping people connect and develop deeper engagement through practices such as these are what we do at the Center.
From our Religica Theolab, this month we listen to an interview with the director of the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, Mack Wilberg, about the transformational power of music. Also featured this month, Seattle University Professor Allison Henrich shares about the humanizing gift of mathematics for our lives. We also take an opportunity in January to sit down with Cree elder and Canadian lawyer and activist, Wilton Littlechild, in a wide-ranging interview with Center Advisory Council Member Steve Wilhelm. They cover topics such as Elder Littlechild’s work with his Indigenous nation, matrilineal leadership, and living with climate change.
Last month, in December, we celebrated holidays that were cultural, arose out of faith traditions, and were from secular traditions as well. In December we looked for light and listened for silence. We encouraged you to take time for yourselves and those you love.
In January we discover how unity is essential for us every day. We review the State of the World 2022, in our Engagement Around the World section, and how we work together at UNESCO’s 2nd International Conference on Water, Megacities, and Global Change, which is taking place in Paris. Locally, our Seattle University community also finds ways to unite.
Speaking of Seattle U, we are grateful for our Student Affiliates who contribute to the Center’s work in so many ways while also keeping us more current with the present generation. We are featuring Student Affiliate Carlos Bello this month, who has been a vital member of our core team for two years, primarily working with our podcasts and other digital media.
We can go deeper in Engaging Unity with help and insights from organizations as well as various religious traditions.
We can see the unity in faith traditions and cultures that see the importance of the same day while celebrating that Holiday differently. We continue the month’s theme with the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity on January 18th to 25th.
Please continue to reach out to Dr. Trice or to me with any questions or suggestions. In our roles we value that conversation with you!
Happy New Year!
At the Round Table: Dr. Michael Trice, Center Director, speaks with Dr. Douglas Peduti SJ. and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Edward Donalson III about the scholars' project this past year titled: "Gratitude, Injury, and Repair in a Pandemic Age." The conversation touches upon: a) grief and denial of the seriousness of this time by those who are close to power; b) the US societal mythology of a protected "city on a hill"; c) the effects on younger generations, on our children, and more.
To learn more about the project and our scholars see:
Sparking our Imagination each month at the Center:
As we enter the New Year we encounter a time of Epiphany. Embrace this time with a video created by Center director Dr. Michael Trice and friends.
Members of our Center’s Advisory Council share prayers, meditations and their reflections, as our communities all around the world enter this multifaith holiday season unsure about what it will look like and how their celebrations and gatherings will be different.
We are confident that faith traditions and practices included here, and previously in our December newsletter, are as gifts that support your lives. Helping people connect and develop deeper engagement is what we do at the Center. All of the reflections below are read aloud by the Center Team. Enjoy!
- Mahrukh Motafram – Hymns of Zarathushtra - Zoroastrian
- Steve Wilhelm – Samyutta Nikaya - “Connected Discourses of the Buddha” - Buddhist
- Rev. Mia Baumgartner – The Power of Pause – Lutheran
- Rev. Douglas Peduti – Reflection on Seeking Light with Silence - Catholic
- Rev. Susan Tanabe – Nature – Unity
Our Center has a laboratory called the Religica Theolab with a commitment to public theological engagement for a new generation. In the month of January we focus on ways we access wisdom traditions and honor sacred space. Take a listen by clicking the images below! Engage the Religica Theolab
A Month to Engage: Each month we seek resources that are relevant and meaningful for communities to engage in the role of religion and spiritual pathways for our times.
UNESCO – Water, Megacities and Global Change – 2nd International Conference, Paris, France [Jan 11 – Jan 14]
Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs – State of the World 2022 [Jan 31 – Feb 2]
Seattle University – Center for Student Involvement – Campus Traditions – Events in Winter to unite the diverse community at Seattle University
Religious traditions, Spiritual pathways, and Indigenous wisdom are active in communities around the world. Each month we share new ways to engage with our monthly theme. Below we offer a collection of resources to engage with calls for Unity around the world:
United Nations – Unity in Diversity
World Economic Forum – Love your Neighbor: Islam, Judaism and Christianity come together over COVID-19
Jesuit Resource – St Xavier’s – Unity Prayers
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community – Global Unity
Bahai Teachings – What does Unity really mean?
Impakter – One Health and Well-being – Inspiring a Global Unity of Purpose
The Conversation – What If the World was One Country?
Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God - Catholic Christian
Feast Day of St Basil - Orthodox Christian
Shogatsu/Gantan-sai (New Year) - Shinto
Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus - Orthodox Christian
Dec 31 – Jan. 4
Gahambar Maidyarem - Zoroastrian
Guru Gobindh Singh birthday – Sikh
Feast of the Epiphany (Theophany) - Orthodox Christian
Dia de los Reyes (Three Kings Day) - Christian
Feast of the Nativity - Orthodox Christian
Christmas Day – Ethiopian/Rastafarian
Feast of the Holy Family - Catholic Christian
Baptism of the Lord Jesus – Christian
Blessing of the Animals - Catholic Christian
Jan 18 - 25
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Christian
Conversion of St Paul – Christian
Coming in February!
We will be Listening for Interfaith Harmony.
More to Come!