Center Message January 2022

January 4, 2022

A Listening Year  ~ January 2022

Listening to the Calls for Unity around the World


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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 wellIn 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! 

John Malcomson 

Program Coordinator 



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The Religica Theolab

The Center for Ecumenical and Interreligious Engagement includes our own theological laboratory: The Religica Theolab.  Visit today.