Spring 2017 Events

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*TCL Dialogue events are Monday evenings from 6:30-8:30pm.

*Interfaith dates used from Morgan State University’s interfaith calendar resource.

Keep in mind for The Church Lab events

Special spring events outside of dialogue:

*Volunteer Opportunity: Sat, Feb 25

*Movie Night!: Fri, May 19

*Labyrinth Special Event with guide Linda Webster: Sat, April 8

*Holy Week field trip: Thurs, April 13


Mon, January 16: Civil Rights. What is your faith tradition’s history of wrestling with movements like the Civil Rights Movements? What the good, bad and ugly about your texts, traditions, structures and how that has confused, hurt and hopefully helped civil rights issues (or how we even decide what they are)?

*MLK Day - Austin celebration 9am-3pm


Jan 28: Chinese New Year. Confucian, Daoist, Buddhist.


Mon, January 30: What Changes? What Stays the Same? There is a new year, a new president, maybe a new you! What in your faith tradition is built to last, and what is elastic? We will explore our constants versus what is always “being made new” in our faith traditions, along with the structures that set up our religious institutions to support those constants and changes.


Mon, Feb 13: Relationships and Faith. It’s that time of year we may seek to embrace or avoid. It’s a good time to stop and reflect on the many ways our faith traditions ask us to approach romance differently, how that’s changed over time, where the similarities of our fragile hearts lie and how different the paths, rules and objectives have been/can be among our various belief systems. What’s so great or wrong with singleness, dating, marriages, kids?! Bring some extra chocolate with you for this one!


Sat, Feb 25: Volunteer Day! (deets tba after 2016 Advent Conspiracy event)


Mon, Feb 27: Goddesses! Tonight we will have a guest of honor: Linda Webster. Linda is a pagan leader of monthly sessions on goddesses at Austin’s BookWoman. Join us as we dialogue about goddesses and learn from Linda in the process!


Mar 1: Ash Wednesday. Christian. The beginning of Lent, the 40-day period that precedes Easter.

Mar 12: Purim. Jewish. Celebration of the story of Esther.


Mon, March 13: Idolatry. What is an idol, and what is so wrong about idolatry? Faith traditions identify the dangers of idolatry - and what even counts as idolatry - very differently. Are images or statues poignant reflections of something else we worship, or are they too limiting to honor deities, or are they inevitably fake gods-in-the-making? Do we trade in God for idols of money, being liked, material goods? Why and how? Certainly not least, there lies the difference between Jesus as a prophet and Jesus as God Incarnate. It is a stark line indeed. Come learn and share about this tricky topic we all face.


Mar 13: Holi. Hindu. Festival of colors. Celebrates the life of Krishna.

Mar 21: Naw Ruz (New Year). Bahá’í Faith.


Mon, March 27: Holidays! Lent, Maundy Thursday, Easter. Purim, Pesach, Shavuot. Ramadan, Lailat al Miraj. Mahair Jayanti. There is a practical parade of fascinating holidays of various faith traditions celebrate each spring! Bring stories of what these holidays are to you and what you love about them and what about them is challenging. See if you can help find some guests of honor to bring some extra insight into a variety of amazing religious commemorations!


Apr 2: Palm/Passion Sunday. Christian. Celebrates the joyful entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem.


Mon, April 10: Tough Text, Inspiring Text, Divine Text: Most of us have our favorites, and most of us have ones we just don’t quite know what to do with. Did the Bible that tells me to say a sweet, quiet “yes” to Jesus also just say something about dashing babies against rocks? Take a deep breath and join us for a fascinating, vulnerable conversation of insight into our mysterious sacred texts and how we both wrestle and rejoice with them.


Sat, April 8: Labyrinth Special Event with guide Linda Webster: Join us for guidance on how labyrinths can be used as helpful experiences for a multitude of religious traditions. We will meet at a labyrinth, learn about them and how we might use them, and then we will try it out or observe as we feel so moved! This is a unique opportunity to the max! There are few inter-religious spiritual disciplines that can be practiced together without a “host” religious tradition determining the meaning of the experience for all involved. We hope you’ll experience this unique session alongside us.


Thurs, April 13: Maundy Thursday field trip: Keep an ear out for details as Pastor Carrie invites you to join her for Christian Holy Week activities like Maundy Thursday, with possibilities of Good Friday and Holy Saturday field trip options.


Apr 10: Mahavir Jayanti. Jain. Celebrates the birth of the founder of Jainism.

Apr 11-18: Pesach (Passover). Jewish. Celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.

Apr 13: Maundy/Holy Thursday. Christian. Commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples.

Apr 14: Good/Holy Friday. Christian. Commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus.

Apr 14: Vaisakhi/Baisakhi. Sikh. Marks the formation of the Khalsa (religious community of Sikhs) by Guru Gobind Singh.

April 16: Easter. Christian. Celebrates the resurrection of Jesus.

Apr 21 : Ridvan. Bahá’í Faith. Commemorates the 12 days when the founder, Baha’u’llah, declared his mission.


Mon, April 24: LOLz. We people of faith are, well, weird. We believe beautiful things that bring our life meaning beyond what words can accurately contain in their goodness. But the stuff we believe is also crazy, and the attempts we make to give our traditions structure and community can get awkward, to say the least. Join us for a night where we celebrate stories where living faithfully just gets plain hilarious. (Example: one of my faith communities once held a worship service in which Easter candles caught the altar on fire. A congregant took his shirt off and scurried to the front of the worship room to put on the fire with said clothing. He emerged with no salvaged top to wear, but a safe sanctuary indeed. People who weren’t even there still giggle at the story - including me!)


Apr 24: Lailat al Miraj. Muslims. Commemorates prophet Muhammad’s Ascension into heaven.

May 1: Beltane. Wiccan. Festival of light honoring life and fertility.


Mon, May 8: Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation: This spring we have walked through textual interpretation, the awkward vulnerabilities of our faiths, and now we shall waltz into some somber, timely territory. We will gather to reflect on the difficult realities of navigating our faith traditions and our beliefs, experiences and communities - including our interreligious one! - when it comes to learning about/reconciling our own/communicating/supporting/struggling with/advocating/standing for where we land when it comes to gender identity and sexual orientation.


May 10: Buddha Day. Buddhist. Commemorates the birth, enlightenment, and death of Gautama Buddha.


Fri, May 19: Movie Night! Our last dialogue for the spring is coming up. Come on over for a fun movie night together as we get ready for summer to shine upon us! Details tba.


Mon, May 22: Creation, Creatures and Us!/All Dogs Go To Heaven…? We will round out our spring dialogues with a thoughtful, serious and at times, just plain fun topic about the sacred relationships we carry between animals, creation and ourselves in the context of our faith traditions. The talk may span serious environmental issues all the way to why we love our furry pets so darn much. Bring pics of your fav animal in your life, or let’s face it...while you’re at it, bring your fav animal GIFS, too. ;)


May 27– June 25: Ramadan. Muslim. Month of fasting, one of the pillars of Islam.

May 31-June 1: Shavuot. Jewish. Festival commemorating the giving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai'

June 4: Pentecost. Christian. Feast day commemorating descent of Holy Spirit on Apostles.