Stirring a Multifaith Stew

October 7, 2006

Author: Daniel Hartill

Source: Sun Journal

Helping people nurture their faith - as Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or Buddhists - begins outside tradition and sacred texts.

It begins by listening.

"There is so much religious (pride) in the world," said the Rev. Bill Blaine-Wallace, the new chaplain at Bates College. It's a job that requires him to help people of nine or 10 faiths. Humility is the key, he said. Pride and judgmentalism would get in the way.

When Blaine-Wallace, an Episcopal priest, meets with a group of Muslim or Jewish students, he doesn't do last-minute reading for background on Ramadan or Rosh Hashana.

He works to find the right foods, and with his wife, Victoria, he opens his home.

"It's amazing how food and hospitality translate," the 55-year-old Georgia native said.

See also: Interfaith, Campus