Fife Interfaith Group

(An associate member of interfaith Scotland)

Bringing people of all faiths together through mutual understanding of teachings, traditions, and practices

All physical Meetings and events scheduled by the Fife Interfaith Group have been cancelled until further notice. We hope you are doing all you can to remain safe and well during this difficult time. Click here for the Scottish government guidelines on how to protect your loved-ones.

This is where you'll find out archive of Thoughts. We hope you'll find something inspiring.

June 2020 THeme: Connections

As we come here as strangers, we are connected by our faiths and hopefully leave this evening as friends.

Through our meeting together we gain joy, strength and inspiration from each other.

Our faiths, are partly formed by, our holy words long preserved, which we all hold dear and which are evidently put into practice by people who attend Fife Interfaith.

The other week, we had a power cut, which lasted most of the day. As my husband and I are both working from home, we soon realised that we were unable to continue our work – no power, no internet. Arghh! Ok then, lets’ have a coffee break instead. No power no boiling kettle. Let’s pop the TV on and amuse ourselves that way – no power, no TV. Let’s go and visit someone to fill some time and get a cuppa – oh no its lockdown and we are not allowed to go visiting and there are no coffee shops open…

Without power, we felt powerless. In lots of ways. And that’s how I am sure we all would feel without our faith, we would be powerless. We need that daily connection to our holy words. We also need that connection to like-minded people, to be encouraged to keep on track with our faith, to keep practicing our faith in actions as well as self-nourishment. What an honour it is to be free to share our faith with others, in an environment that connections are there without question as we all have a faith and are accepted as we are. As the common connection of all faiths is surely, love.

On my first visit to an Interfaith meeting, I was nervous to walk in the door. I didn’t know anyone. I only knew a few people who practiced a different faith from the Presbyterian Church of Scotland me. Yet, I wanted to extend my horizons, look out the window and get to know my neighbour regardless of their faith or belief system. After several years of building up courage, to attending my first meeting, I took a deep breath and walked in the door.

Connections made 25 years earlier at Playgroup, were immediately generated and ignited again following a spark of recognition with someone in the room. I relaxed, felt comfortable and by the end of the meeting, knew that the Fife Interfaith group was cooking with gas and I was going to return, to make more new connections!

The new connections which I have made, have been really powerful to me on a spiritual level. I am learning about other faiths and beliefs and in turn I am sharing my new knowledge with friends and family. Opening, their minds to new ideas, breaking down their prejudgments and prejudices born from ignorance and fear. Through these connections I am reminded of the Peace Prayer of St. Francis – Make Me a Channel of Your Peace.

Make me a channel of your peace.

Where there is hatred let me bring your love.

Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord

And where there's doubt, true faith in you.

Connections come in all different forms as do faiths, but as long as our connections grow, we too will also grow in our faith.

By Louisa Turner.

July 2020 Thought For The Month - Being Human – Connections

When I started to prepare for this, I just waited for a thought to come. Nothing happened. I tried find out where my thoughts come from – my brain.

Bit of research. Brain: consists of nerve cells, called neurons. 100 billion of them (we're getting used to thinking in billions) (15 times the human population of this planet, imagine the cosmos from the perspective of a neuron). It's the connections between these neurons (another number even harder to imagine), that are central to the processes of the brain. This is described as 'electrical activity, the release of chemical messengers, changes in cell contacts and alterations in the activity of nerve cells'.  I don't know about you, but I have no success in controlling these chemical messengers.

I find that the more I use my brain, (the more different connections I form and use), the better my brain works. I'm usually suspicious of analogies, but tried to compare this, with how I connect with other people.

I am drawn to people who share my worldview, creating a bit of a 'bubble'. My opinions, formed as they are from processes, over which I have no ultimate control, are vindicated. I may put ideas into my memory, to make me look clever in a future discussion. I buy the newspaper, closest to my own views. On social media, the algorithm anticipates what appeals to me from previous behaviour. All takes me down the same well-worn path, with few really new connections.

I thought how different it would be, talking with people who don't share my view. Or better still listening. (Nobody ever learned anything from listening to their own voice).  I determine to buy different publications each week, The Observer, Telegraph, Mail on Sunday, Jewish Chronicle. My views should become resilient the more they are examined. They might even change, in the light of new evidence.

Like my brain, the more different connections I make, the better I work.

By Gordon Agnew