Every year on the first weekend of May, churches around the country celebrate PLURALISM SUNDAY, dedicating their Sunday services and other activities to a celebration of our interfaith world. The Fountains will join in recognizing Pluralism Sunday 2013 in its 9:30 a.m. service and as part of the Cross Current Youth Meeting at 4pm on Sunday, May 5th.
As openness to religious diversity is one of the distinctive characteristics of the United States, the focus will be on recognizing how, especially in a democracy, religions can be good for one another. We can grow closer to God and deeper in compassion (and understand our own traditions better) through a more intimate awareness of the world’s religions. Professor Diana Eck, founder of the Pluralism Project and recognized expert on religious diversity in America, says that “Pluralism is the concept that there are multiple loci of truth and salvation among the religions. It doesn’t imply that all religions are the same or that all religions are equal; but it does recognize the possibility that my way is not the only way and that my religion is not necessarily superior to yours.”
Pastor of the Fountains, Rev. David Felten, says, “There’s a lot of confusion out there about “pluralism.” It’s often confused with “relativism,” but the two ideas are quite different.” Coordinator of Pluralism Sunday, Rev. Jim Burklo, says, “It’s not that everything is equal and that we can’t make value judgments. Perhaps there are aspects of some religions that should be universally condemned. Take, for example, religiously sanctioned genital mutilation of women—this isn’t okay; and it would be well within the obligations of other religions to speak out against this practice. So, it’s not like pluralism means ‘anything goes.’ At the same time, it is recognition that no religion has an ultimate or final claim to The Truth.”
When people who have dropped out of Christian churches are asked the reason for their leaving, many of them point to the arrogance of the claim that Christianity is religiously superior to all other religions. Millions of Americans are neighbors to and family members of devout practitioners of other faiths, and the claim that Christianity is superior to all other religions no longer has any credibility in the real world. Pluralism Sunday is just one way to let people know that there are plenty of inclusive Christian churches that manage to follow Jesus without the need to condemn other faiths.
Join members of The Fountains at 9:30 a.m. this Sunday to celebrate this important and foundational aspect of what it means to be a person of faith in the 21st century. The Fountains, a United Methodist Church is located at 15300 N. Fountain Hills Blvd. Fountain Hills, Arizona 85268
More Info on Pluralism Sunday can be found at PLURALISMSUNDAY.ORG