InterFaith Youth Core Expands: Part 1

I feel compelled to pass along most amazing news I received about the IFYC.  Their premise is to train college leaders to learn about and embrace all religions so the world may better address and solve the many ills caused by religious intolerance.IFYC Leadership initiatives in Inter Faith

In just the past months, the team prepared for and executed two successful Interfaith Leadership Institutes (ILIs) in New York City and Chicago on the campuses of New York University and Northwestern. We welcome you to Chicago with open arms!

With the support of the President’s Faith-based Council membership, on which I also sit, the IFYC team was able to train nearly 200 interfaith student leaders over the summer, moving closer to the goal of 450 students trained this academic year. This is remarkable progress, and I am continually impressed by the young interfaith leaders they to work with.

As September begins, Founder Eboo Patel, a Rhodes Scholar and Obama advisor,  is back on the campus circuit with renewed inspiration, traveling near and far – from the public Utah State University in Logan, UT to the Ivy League campus of Cornell University in New York; from Loras College, run by the Catholic Archdiocese of Dubuque, IA since 1839, to Meredith, the largest all-women’s college, in Raleigh, NC.

Eboo doesn’t stop here. His energy is boundless and later this month, the team hosts a set of important IFYC events in Washington, DC, including a gathering on White House grounds.  You can help now by making a personal or corporate contribution here.

We continue to support IFYC  I’ve written about IFYC and Eboo for MIB in the past and hope to host him at our nondenominational church in partnership with a nearby synagogue soon. This is part one of a series on the amazing initiatives of Eboo and the IFYC as a whole.


Put It In The God Box (& 8 Key Words)

A gift from my son’s Japanese girlfriend, Kazuwa. (Please note the Make It Better orange flowers!)

Do you also find spirituality in our 21st Century, interconnected world to be more complicated, but also easier than ever?

As a mother and entrepreneur who yearns for her adult and teen children to feel similar faith, love & confidence as that which my Christian faith gives me, I grieve when I hear my kids say, “I don’t believe in God or organized religion.”

Fortunately, they usually append that challenging statement with, “However, I am very spiritual!”

It would be so much easier if they just stopped thinking for themselves and adopted all the tenets of the very wonderful church in which they were raised…

However, there are many true paths to God, and a life lived in connection with that divine spirit. That is one of the reasons I am a fan of Eboo Patel’s Interfaith Corps, which promotes education about all religions:

And thank God for the simple route to the loving, trusting spiritual life advocated in the book “Outrageous Openness”:  My favorite line in that book is, “Put it in the God Box.” The author, Tosha Silver, regularly puts all her anxiety-inducing problems in her “God Box.” Silver writes the problem on a piece of paper, puts in the box and thanks God for the perfect solution that is coming.

That’s almost as simple as prayer! It’s a lot easier and less expensive than therapy too.

This got me wondering what a God Box for our home should look like.

I decided on the one pictured above, because my son’s girlfriend – Kazuwa – brought it as a present from Japan, where Buddhism reigns. It’s another reminder that many faith traditions lead to the divine.

Yesterday though, I heard 8 great words to live by from minister Don Dempsey at Kenilworth Union Church. Holding these 8 words top of mind and deep in heart will make a life journey even easier and richer:

“Be Ever Faithful,
Deeply Loving,
And Eternally Hopeful.”

So, to my beautiful, independent, amazing children, I say:

Choose whatever spiritual path works for you – as long as it leads you to live and love fully. And to feel as joyful, flexible, and playful as this: