It has been a freezing winter, with everything cased in ice, still waiting for a thaw. Meanwhile, my longtime followers may have noticed that my blog has been in hibernation. After almost a decade of posting, and more than 300 essays on the topic of interfaith families, I have been sluggish in writing new material here. Instead, I curled up in my den, trying to keep warm through seasons of family grief, and dark times for the country, and the planet.
But now spring is on the way. And, while hibernating, I have been gestating a new book for interfaith families. Now that I have submitted the manuscript, and the sun is returning, and grief is receding, I will return to posting more often here. In the meantime, you can always find my curated links for interfaith families on my facebook author page, and on twitter.
The percentage of interfaith families continues to grow, and there is still a serious lack of informed and impartial books and resources by, for, and about us. Before 2018 ends, if all goes according to plan, my new book will reach you, providing support and inspiration for all interfaith families, whether Protestant and atheist, Muslim and Jewish, Hindu and Unitarian-Universalist, Pagan and Catholic. And I am already booking a new round of speaking engagements and workshops for next fall and winter, so that we can continue these conversations in person. So, stay in touch here for more details, as we awake, stretch, and stumble out into the spring light together.
Is this truly year three of the Being Both book tour? Somehow, I am still traveling around the country, speaking at museums, universities, conferences, synagogues, and churches. I continue to draw new energy and ideas from my conversations with all of you at these events. And, I am even more passionate now than I was three years ago about listening to your stories, and exploring the experiences of interfaith families in our culture and our world.
If the time seemed right for Being Both three years ago, it seems all the more important now, as we face religious and racial intolerance and strive for social justice. I find my message is evolving in response to my encounters with all of you, in person and online. Here are just some of the advocacy themes that I feel compelled to tackle as an interfaith activist:
Religious institutions need to accept that a significant percentage of interfaith families want their children to have interfaith education. Engaging with these families makes more sense than excluding them.
Religious institutions need to move beyond tolerating or even welcoming interfaith families, and figure out how to benefit from interfaith families.
Organizations devoted to interfaith dialogue and understanding need to recognize the important role of people from interfaith families as bridge-builders and peacemakers, rather than feeling threatened by perceived blurring of boundaries.
It is time to celebrate the rise of Generation Interfaith. Our world is being transformed by adult interfaith children who are now rabbis, ministers, priests, teachers, and organizational and political leaders.
In a time of continuing religious tension and strife, we all need more interfaith education. And interfaith children, in particular, need and deserve interfaith education.
Coming up in March, I am excited about continuing these conversations in Harrisburg PA, Chicago, and Long Island. If you have friends or family in these places, let them know about these upcoming events:
Harrisburg PA, March 3 2016, 6-7:30pm. Interfaith Families (and book signing), Morrison Gallery, Library, Penn State Harrisburg. Free.
You can always check the most updated details on all of the upcoming Being Both events at susankatzmiller.com/events. And let me know if we can work together to set up a talk, workshop, or consultation in your area. I am not going to move on and write a book about a completely different topic. Interfaith life is my life’s work.