Telluride's Christ Presbyterian Church opens series on world religion 6/16

Telluride's Christ Presbyterian Church opens series on world religion 6/16

[click “Play” for Pastor Pat’s conversation with Susan]

Pat_bailey_photo Telluride’s Christ Presbyterian Church launches a series on luncheon talks about world religion on Wednesday, June 16, noon – 1:30 p.m.. The event takes place downstairs at the church, 434, West Columbia Avenue, across the street from the Telluride Elementary School. (Lunch and the program are free.)

A defining characteristic of human society is tribalism, a tendency to huddle in groups with common ideas/characteristics that set themselves apart and often at odds with groups that don’t share their views. Tribes breed distrust and engender fear. The fear is of “they” who cannot be trusted. “They” who could be a danger. “They” who is The Other. Religious groups are tribes. And crimes committed in the name of God, Allah, Ishvara, Yahweh, you name it, against The Other are legend throughout history. (The Crusades and the Holocaust are just two examples among hundreds, perhaps thousands). How to staunch the venom and learn to live together?

Telluride’s Christ Presbyterian Church has a history of progressive ministers and a more inclusive view of those outside their tribe among its members. Pastor Pat Bailey is the latest shining example. Pastor Pat hatched the notion of a World Religions Luncheon series to provide a forum for learning about The Other in the hope of developing greater understanding, respect, and appreciation.

“It’s not just about tolerance anymore. It is about recognizing that our own faiths and worldviews are incomplete if not in conversation with one another,” he explains.

And Pat Bailey is not just shooting from the hip. Not only is he an ordained pastor, Pastor Pat served as a chaplain in the U.S. Army until his retirement from the military in 2008. In 2002, he completed a masters degree in comparative religion at Emory University and subsequently taught world religions at the Defense Language Institute.

“When I was selected to earn a degree in comparative religion and to teach world religions, I saw that as an opportunity to help others learn about other religions and perhaps help them change some of their assumptions and biases.”

Wednesday’s speaker, the first, is Farouk Nagi from the Pueblo Islamic Center. Nagi is a doctoral student in international relations and the deputy to the Imam in Pueblo.    

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Pastor Pat’s podcast

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