Editor’s note: This is an introduction to the Interfaith Collective, a group of spiritual leaders in our community who will be writing a continuing series of columns for the Independent Tribune.
Where can we hear an inclusive spiritual message in Cabarrus County, one which can communicate diversity of thought on sacred texts — particularly, on the Bible? The Interfaith Collective, which formed this past summer, seeks to be just such a voice.
We believe that God demonstrates commitment to the healing and wholeness of humanity through the theme of justice in our scriptures. Our current members represent a wide range of Christian denominations and the Jewish faith. We welcome like-minded faith leaders to join us.
Our shared commandment, Deuteronomy 6:5 undergirds our mission: “To affirm God’s inclusive nature. Based on our varied and rich traditions, we will demonstrate that God is for unity, justice and equity.” As a group of clergy, we believe our faith praxis is transformative and hope that people experience and understand faith as unifying for the greater good. This week, we each will share how Deuteronomy 6:5, “And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength,” informs our faith understanding.
Rev. Nathan King, Trinity United Church of Christ, Concord God is one. Love God. And so it is. The first and greatest commandment. It follows that, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (I John 4:20). The oneness and unity of God is bound up in our loving each other. Loving God is demonstrated by loving each other. To do this is to fulfill all that God requires. But what happens when you ask, “why am I here?” or “what is my purpose in life?” If you are basing that on Christian faith, this is where your duty and responsibility, as well as your fulfillment, begins and ends: to love God is to love all others. And to love all others is to love God, with everything you have.