3 Things I Learned Working With People From a Variety of Cultures and Faiths
December 24, 2019
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Growing up, my parents instilled in my sister and I that we are to love our neighbor not just because we need to rely on them, but because they are family. My mother commuted to Ann Arbor daily, where she worked at the University of Michigan and was in a master’s program. Through her work and studies, my sister and I met folks from many cultures. We attended events and were able to use many of our senses to learn about a variety of cultures and faiths. I was able to turn my fears or anxieties into curiosities.
Fast forward many years later, and those life lessons have stayed with me as I now minister on Western Michigan University’s campus and help churches in North America reach out to their international neighbor. Here are a few things I have learned along the way:
How do you start?
If you do not work or interact with someone from another faith and want to know more, there are so many community activities that can help with this. There are interfaith institutes that coordinate events, libraries coordinate events, bookstores, many events on college campuses or even just go to the international food store or coffee shop in town and say hello. We all love to learn from one another and these are great places to start. Take a friend with you.
Laura Osborne is a campus pastor of International Campus Ministry, a Resonate Global Mission partner at Western Michigan University, and serves as Coordinator for Interreligious Relations for the Reformed Church in America.
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