Guiding Principles2018-02-11T02:51:46+00:00

Walking in Someone Else’s Garden

“Walking in someone else’s garden” is a useful metaphor to introduce this interfaith/intercultural experience to you.  When we step into someone’s garden, we are essentially entering someone’s sacred space. The life of a person is delicate so tread with care.  As someone who will explore boundaries of faith and culture, you are not required to “give-up” or “lose” your own identity, nor must you to take-on the spiritual attributes and beliefs of another.  We often make incorrect assumptions and judge someone’s world through the fog of own biases.  With that in mind, you will be challenged in attempting to see the world through others’ eyes. Truly mutual dialogue requires a person to enter someone else’s world with softness, humility, and respect.

Consider the new sights, smells, unique landscaping with both familiar and exotic flora.  Be aware. What you interpret as a weed may be the most prized blossom in another’s garden. Treading softly in someone else’s garden presents participants with opportunities for personal and spiritual growth.  One’s horizons are extended, In the end, both guests and hosts will be invited into a relationship of mutual respect.

Meet Your Neighbours: Guiding Principles

  • Create a space of equality:  all members are respected regardless of faith conviction.

  • Create a space for inclusivity: Encourage all voices to share and participate, but respect people’s space and respect a person’s decision to choose not to participate.

  • Meet Your Neighbours is NOT a space for conversion.

  • No one group, tradition, or person holds the truth.

  • Avoid generalizations: Do not substitute labels for complicated realities, avoid arguments, and do not cut-down any group.

  • Respect differences within one’s own tradition and the tradition of the “other”.

  • Trust your personal experiences but speak only for yourself and not for others in your tradition or the tradition of others.

  • Let-go of the need for an outcome. Don’t try to come up with an answer or a solution.

  • Let yourself be vulnerable.

  • Listen, listen, and when there’s nothing left to do, listen. Be curious, it’s natural, ask respectively.