Searching for Hope

Christina Shu, Neighborhood Church Ministerial Intern

I have always been deeply interested in interfaith dialogue and religious pluralism. From organizing an interfaith youth conference in high school, to studying Buddhist-Christian dialogue in college, to working with interfaith college councils as a seminary intern—you could say I’m a geek about interfaith dialogue.

In one way, UUs and UU youth are perfectly primed to engage in interfaith dialogue. Perhaps the most direct “truth” that was impressed to me while attending UU Sunday school—and the only thing I could repeat to my peers at school—was that we UUs believe that no one religion contains all the truth. No one religion is better than all the rest. This is a precious and ever-relevant message to continue passing on to our children.

However, when it comes time to engage in interfaith dialogue—I sometimes struggle. I have no one holy text to quote, no saints’ stories to tell, can’t quite join in the sharing of appreciation of old Scripture stories held in common by all three Abrahamic faiths. Again the perennial question, what do UUs believe? How to explain it to our brothers and sisters of neighboring religions?

Here’s a suggestion – we share our faith by action, by deed, by reaching out and working with our brothers and sisters for peace. This is the work of the Neighborhood Church Building Bridges task force, of so many of our social justice committees, and each one of us, as we represent Unitarian Universalism to those around us at school, at work, with our families, in our communities, and our nation. I rejoice in the work we have done so far, and hope to see even more!

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