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Effort celebrates community's rich diversity of faiths.

Byline: FROM HEAR TO HEART By Steven Deutsch For The Register-Guard

CORRECTION (ran 10/12/2004): The Two Rivers Interfaith Ministries' brown-bag lunch meeting will be at noon Wednesday at First Congregational Church, 1050 E. 23rd Ave. A Heart to Heart column in Saturday's paper listed an incorrect venue.

This fall, Two Rivers Interfaith Ministries celebrates its 10th anniversary. In our community, we have been blessed with an outpouring of caring and the opportunity to learn about the rich diversity of faith traditions that make up the Eugene/Springfield area.

Two Rivers Interfaith Ministry is committed to nurturing our sense of respect and understanding through the upholding of all faiths. We do this by sponsoring a monthly interfaith dialogue group, held on the third Monday of each month; an interfaith prayer and reflection service at 7 p.m. on the 11th of each month, held at First Christian Church; and this weekly column. TRIM also holds monthly forums at noon on the second Wednesday of each month at Central Presbyterian Church, and the Faith in Action Committee meets monthly to support social justice work.

The TRIM steering committee has chosen "Justice - The River Flowing Through All Faiths" as the theme for our monthly forums this year. This theme speaks to the universal quest for love, harmony, peace and justice that we find in each of the religious traditions.

We feel compelled to shape our communities by cooperation and to provide security and well-being for all, with special concern for the most vulnerable in our society. We move toward balance and harmony in relationship with one another and our natural environment as we become good stewards of the Earth and its people.

Believing there is "that of the divine in all persons," members of TRIM seek to honor spiritual values, unite people and nurture a commitment to transform the world by making it more just and compatible with the prophetic voice and compassionate vision of the divine.

While each faith tradition has its own form of worship, education and community, we wish to underscore the universal that unites us all.

We do not seek to convert people, but believe that by learning others' traditions and that which unites us, our community becomes stronger and the faith of each person is nurtured.

Why does TRIM emphasize community-building? TRIM believes that by striving to demonstrate this concept, our own community is contributing to the fulfillment of a just, peaceful and harmonious world. One writer says, "God calls us into community because it is only in community that we can learn God's transforming lessons of love, service, compassion and forgiveness."

TRIM-sponsored interfaith gatherings are meant to help illuminate a path toward understanding and the strengthening of community.

We celebrate the flowing of justice that emanates from all faiths and which can transform each of us as well as the world in which we live.

As we appreciate our diversity, let us note the strengthening of our community and the faith and spiritual foundations of us all.

The community is invited to TRIM's next forum on Wednesday at noon at Central Presbyterian Church, East 15th Avenue and Ferry Street. The theme is: "Justice - The River Flowing Through All Faiths: The Needy Among Us."

We look forward to celebrating our anniversary with you, and sharing this interfaith work with all interested participants.

Steven Deutsch is a member of the Eugene Friends Meeting and a member of TRIM's steering committee. "Heart to Heart" is coordinated by Two Rivers Interfaith Ministries, a network of more than 35 religious and spiritual traditions represented in the Eugene-Springfield area. For more information, call 344-5693.
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Title Annotation:Columns
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Column
Date:Oct 9, 2004
Words:603
Previous Article:BRIEFLY.
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