What is “Interfaith” according to CIC-USA?
“Interfaith” shall mean:
1) the spiritual practices that promote dialogue between religions;
2) the worship and service based on the rites, beliefs and practices of the world’s religions and new revelations as they are revealed;
3) the shared worship and community building between spiritual people from a variety of faith paths and traditions; and
4) all other activities that have been described through terms such as “multifaith,” “interspiritual,” “inte-spiritual,” “transpath,” and “omnispiritual.”
For the purposes of describing these collective spiritual traditions, the term “Interfaith” will be used.
Are we creating the “religion of interfaith?”
No, this organization recognizes that “interfaith spiritual expression” has existed for decades. Creating an umbrella organization allows others to participate in this inclusive community activity and nationally recognizes ordained clergy willing to serve others of all faith paths.
1/3 of all marriages in the USA are of couples with different faith paths. The 2009 Pew Forum reports about half of Americans change religions at least once in their lifetime.
We are an “Interfaith” country.
DRAFT DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES: August 31, 2009
THIS DECLARATION, set forth by THE COUNCIL of Interfaith Communities OF THE US, hereinafter collectively referred to as The Council.
WHEREAS, Member organizations of The Council are interested in creating and sustaining spiritual communities that create and nurture Interfaith spiritual values throughout the United States of America and around the world community. Interfaith shall mean: 1) the spiritual practices that promote dialogue between religions; 2) the worship and service based on the rites, beliefs and practices of the world’s religions and new revelations as they are revealed; 3) the shared worship and community building between spiritual people from a variety of faith paths and traditions; and 4) all other activities that have been described through terms such as “multifaith,” “interspiritual,” “inte-spiritual,” “transpath,” and “omnispiritual.” For the purposes of describing these collective spiritual traditions, the term “Interfaith” will be used.
WHEREAS, Member organizations of The Council are interesting in preserving models of Interfaith service respecting and inclusive of all humanity and creation.
WHEREAS, Member organizations of the The Council are interested in being an ecclesiastical home for Interfaith spiritual expression in the United States and to promote that expression in partnership with the World Community.
NOW, THEREFORE, The Council hereby declares that the following to be a common set of principles that define and determine the appropriate spiritual foundation for all member organizations of The Council.
Service to All Creation as a Divine Expression
All life is the creation of Divine expressions and processes that may or may not be understood, and which require respect and compassion. We hold sacred the human responsibility to be kind and ethical stewards of all life, the planet and its resources.
Every Human and Every Community Has Their Own Divine Interpretation
Every human being has been given their own unique interpretation of Divine processes and their own relationship to the Divine. Even individuals claiming specific religions and denominations within religions have different shades of interpretation on some theological issues and conduct. No two humans should be considered exactly alike in their faiths. Also, every community that comes together has its own identity and need for spiritual expression that honors the hearts and needs of its congregational membership.
Principle of Spiritual/Religious Freedom
We believe in the freedom of individuals and groups to practice the spiritual path(s) and/or religion(s) of their choice.
We believe in the freedom of individuals and groups to be free from religious belief or practice being forced upon them.
We believe that all spiritual paths and religions are valid ways to honor and serve the sacred. We honor all traditions to the degree that they do not injure others or infringe upon the spiritual and religious practices of individuals or groups.
Affirmation of Interfaith Practice
We affirm the value of spiritual/religious ritual that includes multiple religions together as a sign of solidarity with adherents of all faiths and to honor the wisdom and value of all spiritual paths and religious traditions. We believe that there are other spiritual teachings and practices, both old and new, of great worth, that are not tied to specific faith traditions.
Inclusivity and Interfaith
All member organizations of the Council are inclusive of all individuals from diverse spiritual-religious backgrounds and are inclusive of individuals with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds; sexual orientations and gender identities, expressions and orientations; and those with disabilities or different-abilities. This inclusiveness applies to all congregational leaders, member organizations and individual members of the organizations.
Honoring & Respecting Spiritual Diversity
All member organizations of the Council are called upon to respect the personal faith systems of every human being, so long as it maintains dignity and compassion for others.
The Principle of Universal Interfaith Support
While in the conduct of support towards others, all ordained interfaith ministers endorsed and embraced by The Council, shall strive to transcend beyond their own personal faith systems to understand and support the needs of others based on their spiritual needs and interpretations.
END of DECLARATION
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Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States