Clarence Jordan, the faith leader who mentored Habitat’s founder Millard Fuller at Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia, is often called Habitat’s spiritual leader. His words on a sign near the door of the Koinonia Conference room of Habitat for Humanity International‘s Atlanta world headquarters caused me to pause before I entered.
I was in Atlanta representing Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity this week as one of 14 Habitat affiliates across the U.S. teaming with Habitat International’s Faith Engagement Department to make recommendations that could help expand Habitat’s interfaith collaborations globally.
Think of the impact collaborating faith communities could have sharing their common principles of welcoming and serving people in need — the neighbor, the stranger, the marginalized, the vulnerable — by working side-by-side to advance Habitat’s mission: Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, community and hope.
Think of the impact collaborations could have in advancing the peace, understanding, and acceptance among different faiths when they come together to work in partnership for the greater good of the world.
In Hartford, I’ve seen first hand the value of interfaith collaborations, whether organized by Hartford Habitat, the Connecticut Council for Interreligious Understanding, the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, The Conference of Churches, individual faith communities, or the many other organizations too numerous to mention. They all matter in bringing people together to listen, learn, understand, and accept each other, all focused on building a better world.
The events and opportunities are everywhere, if only we care to seek them out.
Don Shaw, Jr.
Writer and Editor
Photo by Don Shaw, Jr.