The principal purpose (mission) of the Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought (MCWRET) is to enhance the acceptance of religious and cultural diversity and the practice of understanding towards those different from ourselves. It pledges itself to:
- Honor and enrich individual religious, spiritual and ethical practices;
- Encourage interfaith dialogue and ethical thought;
- Provide a center for the study of world religions and ethical thought; and
- Serve as a vanguard for common action to assure freedom of conscience and human dignity in our communities.
We are informed by the multiple expressions of the “Golden Rule.”
A Diverse Meeting Place
We seek common ground for interfaith dialog and action, and we strive to understand our similarities and differences. MCWRET Board Members join with members of Monmouth County faith communities to conduct a variety of public events. We invite you to join us in the work of this unique interfaith learning community.
NEXT MCWRET EVENT
Sunday March 26, 2017 6:00 pm
To Light A Candle: A film about the triumph of knowledge over intolerance
UUCMC Meetinghouse – Community Room, 1475 W. Front St., Lincroft, NJ 07738
The Baha’is are Iran’s largest religious minority. They are persecuted because of their faith, and are barred from teaching and studying at universities. The Baha’i Institute for Higher Education (BIHE) was established in 1987 to give young Baha’is a chance to pursue knowledge and receive a quality education The informal courses take place in people’s homes, via mail correspondence, and with online lectures. The Iranian government regularly raids BIHE classes and arrests its students and teachers. Hundreds of Baha’is have been jailed simply for teaching and studying at BIHE. Yet, many Muslim Iranians support the right of the Baha’is to higher education and fight for the full enjoyment of civil and human rights by all Baha’is.
Maziar Bahari’s To Light a Candle is a hopeful story of the BIHE and Iran. In 2015 the film sparked the global “Education Is Not A Crime” campaign for universal access to higher education. The campaign has been endorsed by a string of Nobel laureates and other prominent figures around the world.
Thursday, April 6, 2017 7:00 – 8:30 pm
My Path to Chikai – Ocean Wisdom
UUCMC Meetinghouse, Community Room
1475 W. Front St., Lincroft, NJ 07738
Please join us as Elaine Held
shares her story about her Buddhist path.
“Having grown up Christian and receiving two degrees in music, the last in church music from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, I found my career developing from piano teacher, to minister of music in RCA, ELCA, Presbyterian and finally the UUCMC congregation. The path of my religious development, which always included music, found a kind of resting place in Buddhism. The music is now different (I will play a meditative shakuhachi piece), the prayers are different (I will intone one of my favorite chants), and the path…well, I will try to explain this unexpected journey and where this path might take me as I travel on. Gassho.”
NEXT CO-SPONSORED EVENTS
Please check back for future co-sponsored events.
Know Your Neighbor: Multifaith Encounters Coalition Statement and Call to Action on Immigration Executive Orders
MCWRET is a supporting organization for the Multifaith Encounters Coalition Statement and Call to Action.
The executive orders issued this week by President Donald Trump require us to reaffirm basic values that we share with the great majority of Americans. These include respect, care, civil liberties, unity and solidarity. Although these measures purport to deal with the threat of terrorism, there is little evidence to support this claim. What they do, however, is to cast a dark cloud over the entire American Muslim population, making their lives more difficult. This impacts women in headscarves who have been the object of increased harassment and students in schools who have seen a rise in bullying in recent years due to anti-Muslim rhetoric which will increase with these policies.
In response to the Executive Orders, we faith-based and humanist organizations call for an increase in:
- Interfaith engagement, including both interfaith dialogues and events bringing people of diverse traditions together for mutual encounter and learning
- Education about Muslims and Islam, including presentations by Muslim speakers and “meet a Muslim” events in houses of worship or other public venues
- Commitment to and training in being “upstanders” who respond supportively to incidents of hate and bigotry.
Read Professor Antonio Malone’s 2015 Shanti Lecture
Our Sixteenth Annual Shanti (Peace) Program (November 2015)
was presented by Professor Antonia (Tonie) Malone. The topic was the message of Pope Francis’ encyclical, On Care for our Common Home: LAUDATO SI’, which speaks to all people to take “swift and unified action” in defense of our common home. Professor Malone punctuated her address with examples from her personal experiences as a founding and active member of the NJ Pax Christi Catholic Peace Movement and as an Ambassador of Peace to several different countries. Attendees of the event were truly inspired by Dr. Malone’s talk. We are grateful that she has made the text of her talk available. Please read On Care for our Common Home: LAUDATO SI’.
Garden State MOSAIC for Youth – Grades 7-12
Mobilizing our Students for Action to Build Interfaith Community
The Monmouth Center for World Religions and Ethical Thought (MCWRET) and the Monmouth County Human Relations Commission (MCHRC) have teamed up to create an interfaith program that provides an opportunity for the youth in our area to:
- Learn About Other Faiths: Students learn about each other’s belief systems and practices through a series of sessions hosted by various faith groups at their places of worship.
- Serve the Community: Teens plan and conduct a community service project to allow them to practice some of the values that are common between all belief systems.
- Develop Leadership Skills: Participants develop unique leadership and dialogue skills that are critical to becoming a change agent in their own communities.