By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Cooperative Spirituality will be the topic of a new Lenten series scheduled to begin on Monday, February 16, at First Christian Church of Oklahoma City at 36th and N Walker.
The series, presented in three parts, will feature the Jewish, Christian and Buddhist faiths. All sessions will be held at FFC-OKC’s Fellowship Hall and are free and open to the public,
“Too often, religion is seen as a divisive force in society with claims and counterclaims, accusations and even physical attacks are made against this religion or that,” said FCC-OKC Associate Minister Jeff Hamilton.
“This Lenten Series is designed to give time to explore the common spiritual ground found in three major religious traditions that influence our lives. Hopefully the spirit of learning from each other can increase religious understanding and goodwill,” he added.
Jewish Spirituality will be the focus on February 16, led by Rabbi Abby Jacobson, spiritual leader of Emanuel Synagogue in Oklahoma City and a member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Alliance Foundation of Oklahoma.
Rabbi Jacobson will discuss spirituality from a Jewish perspective—“not the Jewish perspective, but a Jewish perspective,” she said. Her discussion will highlight the plurality of spiritual paths within Judaism. “I will also discuss a basis of spirituality within Judaism–a relationship with God developed through commandedness, commandment, and action,” Jacobson added.
Jacobson will also present on Wednesday, February 25 at 6 p.m.
Dr. Kay Northcutt, former Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship at Phillips Theological Seminary in Tulsa, will explore the subject of Christian Spiritually.
“The capacities for stillness and attentiveness are fundamental to each of our shared faith traditions: Christianity, Judaism, and Buddhism,” Dr. Northcutt said. “Specifically Christian spiritual tradition will be explored through the writings of Thomas Merton, Benedict, and Julian of Norwich, Teresa of Avila, and Meister Eckhart.”
Northcutt is an acclaimed author of many books on spirituality. Her presentations will be on Monday, March 9 at 1:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 11 at 6 p.m.
The topic of Buddhist Spirituality will be introduced by Rev. Kris Ladusau, Spiritual Leader of the Dharma Center and member of the Board of Directors of the Interfaith Alliance Foundation of Oklahoma.
Interconnectedness will be Rev. Ladusau’s theme as she shares the teachings found in the Buddhist tradition, “ones that easily blend with wisdom from other spiritual paths,” she said.
“Just as the overall theme for the symposium sets the tone, we will be looking deeply to see the touchstone for us all,” Rev. Ladusau added.
Ladusau’s presentations will be on Monday, March 16 at 1:30 p.m. and on Wednesday, March 18, at 6 p.m.
Hamilton says the purpose of the series is to help people learn that deep spirituality is a touchstone for all religions – and that cooperation and not competition is the core value of serious spirituality.
“For this series we thought that Jewish, Christian and Buddhist would offer an accessible similarity.” Hamilton said. “For example, there are several Buddhist books that talk about Jesus and Buddha as brothers. One excellent book is titled: Living Buddha, Living Christ.
“There are many faith traditions that have a common spirituality,” Hamilton added. “No one tradition is seen as superior to the other.”
On Sunday, March 22, Dr. Nancy Pittman, Dean and Vice-President of Academic Affairs, Phillips Theological Seminary will preach on the theme of Spirituality during FCC-OKC’s regular morning worship service at 10:30 a.m.
Following the service, Pittman will moderate a panel of representatives of the three religious traditions explored during the series. A light lunch will be provided.
Hamilton says a future series will include other religions such as Sikh, Muslim, Hinduism and Native American spirituality.
For more information contact Rev. Jeff Hamilton at 405-525 6551 or visit fccokc.org.