American Sikh Council (ASC) representative S.Kavneet Singh participated in, ‘Encountering Other Faiths – Interfaith Dialogue Facilitator Training’ event held by the ‘Interfaith Philadelphia’ (IP)at their headquarters in Philadelphia on October 17, 2019. The focus of the one-day training was how to moderate and communicate the practices of interfaith engagement.
Over thirty representatives from the Sikh, Jewish, Muslim, Baha’i, and various other Christian denominations participated in ‘Facilitators Training’ through an interactive role-playing workshop.
The Encountering Other Faiths Facilitator Training workshop was for those seeking to feel more equipped to lead interfaith dialogue in their own settings, empowered by increased competence and confidence in facilitating members of their congregation or community to deepen their interfaith encounters. The day was spent skill-building, sharing best practices, and discussing common joys and challenges with fellow interfaith facilitators. Participants received a book, a workbook, and a facilitator’s guide to use in their own work going forward.
The art of interfaith engagement is sometimes not as straight-forward as it seems. Many times, the subject of faith and key questions can be very sensitive, which have to be diplomatically handled. Most people avoid those ‘elephants in the room’ because they do not have the skills or are uncomfortable dealing with those issues with people of other faiths.
Facilitating Others focuses on an exploration of the self as a primary resource of all the interfaith facilitation. Part of the exercise was to ask reflective questions as well as short presentations of the theory that support the personal exploration. Some time was spent on the reflective questions including the personal insights.
A light lunch was served at the Mantra Lounge – Bhakti Yoga Center run by ISKON which is headed by Mangal-Aarti Devi Dasi. https://www.facebook.com/mantraloungephiladelphia/photos/pcb.3177710972303356/3177710068970113/?type=3&theater
Representatives from the American Sikh Council have been participating in the interfaith meetings and many outreach events in the tri-state area of the Delaware Valley since 2004.