For an excellent description of Interfaith, I’m going to send you to the seminary where I’ve been studying for a few years: The Chaplaincy Institute (ChI). To borrow their introduction:
“ChI was envisioned by clergy from a variety of faith traditions who saw a need for deeper Interfaith dialogue, and for building bridges of understanding across religious divides to bring peace and understanding to today’s world.”
Now for my experience of Interfaith, I’ll send you back to 1999 when I mailed in a postcard to get legally ordained through the Universal Life Church. I did it as part of beginning to practice energy healing, and I put it to use performing a wedding, which I loved doing, which became something I’ve been doing ever since.
We can even go back farther to scoop my Interfaith evolution. As a wee lad, being a devoted acolyte in the Episcopal Church, I entertained the idea of becoming a priest. But I wandered out of the church and into a study and practice of Buddhism, with a sprinkling of Hinduism. I started training in Aikido and found a rich spiritual lineage and embodiment in this Japanese martial art.
After many years of an Interfaith Practice in my meditating, energy healing, performing weddings and other ceremonies, and training in Aikido, my spiritual discernment took me to the Chaplaincy Institute so that I could deepen my sense of what it means to be an Interfaith Minister providing pastoral care. I will be (re)ordained in the Fall of 2016.
I consider the role of the minister to be a facilitator, creating and holding the sacred space in which ceremony, ritual, and healing occur. I stand in Great Nature, drawing upon my Aikido training with its Shinto influence, my poetry practice, and my years of meditation and spiritual study to create and celebrate services, as well as provide spiritual healing work.
I approach this work largely from the perspective of the Word. I listen to the language of Place, of my clients, of the Season of the year and/or life, and translate what I hear into a ritual, a ceremony, a healing session that is a reflection of those currents.
I have my own spiritual practices but I honor the myriad ways people find meaning in their lives, whether they be in traditional place of worship, in community, in Nature, in relationship, in solitude.