The First session of the series begins on

Sunday January 17, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM PST

Sunday February 21, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM PST

Sunday March 20, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM PST

Sunday April 24, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM PST

Sunday May 22, 2016 from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM PST
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If you have questions or are interested in Related Readings, go to: www.standingtogether2016.com


Stand Together


Human Dignity- Justice- Compassion- Wisdom 

An interfaith pursuit of values fostered by religion

that are necessary to sustain a free, pluralistic society 


Situation: In recent years, with a widening polarization of the political parties in the United States and elsewhere, there has been an alarming decline of respectful civil discourse.  As a nation, we seem to have forgotten the importance of cultivating behaviors and qualities that are required for a democratic society to function properly.

 In the face of increasing violence and fearful, often hateful, rhetoric, what might help us move beyond a natural fear reaction to a conscious response based on principles we choose to live by?  Are there ideals that people of faith living in America can strive toward together? During this time of challenge and uncertainty, are there shared values upon which we can stand together?

 Great teachers of humanity, as well as the sacred writings from all major religions, encourage people to develop and express qualities that are beneficial for themselves, their families and their society.  For a democracy to function properly, its citizens must be informed and share a sense of human dignity and concern for the well-being of others.  What role can religion play in fostering these and other desirable human qualities? 

 Standing Together is an interfaith study and dialogue program that focuses on founding principles of the US in light of the teachings of leading religious scholars.  It explores the guidance of sacred texts and the advice of great minds regarding how human beings should live, think, act and BE in the world, if they wish to experience inner peace and be responsible members of the human family.  Standing Together promotes self-awareness, social responsibility and a deepening commitment to embody the core wisdom of one’s own faith.  It also encourages participants to revitalize their commitment to the ideals and values upon which America was built.

 Objectives: By means of an interfaith panel, scriptural reflection, and small group discussion, this program seeks to foster greater understanding, respect and cooperative social action among citizens from different faith traditions.  It is designed to:

  • Tap into what is potentially ‘right’ with people, with religion, and with democratic values
  • Explore the positive influence faith can have on individuals and a democratic society
  • Increase appreciation for the relevance of sacred teachings in modern life
  • Encourage genuine interfaith friendships and cooperative social action

Sponsored by Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) and The Church Council of Greater Seattle. Endorsed by Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Pacifica Institute, Seattle Univ. School of Theology & Ministry, Bear Creek Methodist, Congregation Kol Ami, Kadima Reconstructionist Jewish Community, and Faith Action Network (FAN)

Standing Together

A properly functioning democracy requires leaders and citizens to pursue lives of integrity

 and a commitment to a common good  


2016 Topics & Dates

January 17:  Democratic Values, Religion & Personal Fulfillment                    

Bear Creek Methodist/Congregation Kol Ami, Woodinville

Core teachings from major religions promote the same human qualities that are needed to sustain a well functioning democratic society.  In addition, sacred texts and renowned religious scholars both claim that virtuous character and righteous actions are stepping-stones to lasting human happiness.              *RIGHTEOUSNESS


February 21:  Yesterday’s Wisdom: Today’s World

Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS), Redmond

Pivotal religious scholars in the three Abrahamic traditions emphasize the critical role that knowledge plays in maintaining both a just society and personal satisfaction.                                *KNOWLEDGE               


March 20:  Ideals & Virtues: Too much of a Good Thing?            

Location to be determined

The last 2,500 years have produced few lasting examples of individuals or governments that have heeded Aristotle’s advice about the need for moderation in all things.  Today is no exception.  Balance is needed in the pursuit of ideals, virtues and all that is perceived as good. For example, mercy tempers justice, as knowledge or wisdom can guide the expression of courage in honorable ways.                             *BALANCE


April 24:  The Heart of Religion & Democracy                                        

Temple De Hirsch Sinai, Bellevue

Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and the Qur’an call followers to develop hearts that understand (the message reflected by the words), eyes that can see (the truth behind the words), and ears that can hear (the wisdom being conveyed).  The scriptural heart, therefore, is a site of understanding of the divine messages regarding intangible realms such as justice, mercy, human dignity, responsibility, courage, etc.  A successful democracy requires leaders and citizens to embody such intangibles.                             *RESPECT/TRUST


May 22:  Human Family Values & the Work Ahead

Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS), Redmond

As concerned citizens of a democracy facing serious issues, we have work to do.  How do we seek to live into the future?  Can you describe what you feel called to ‘do’ and ‘be,’ to more fully live the deep call of your faith within a modern democracy?                                                                                    *COMMITMENT


               Format: Sunday, 4 – 6 PM

 4:00        Welcome, Prayer,

Overview Interfaith Panel 

Open Discussion

5:15        Small Group Reflection

Takeaways and Closing Prayer

6:00        Tea & Conversation (optional)