INTERFAITH DIALOGUE AND ENTREPRENEURIAL ACTIVITIES (IDEA) FUND
Can we experience a good in common that we cannot experience alone? We say “yes.” Our goal is to shape new conversations between people of faith — conversations that lead to an understanding that cannot be achieved separately. We begin by creating safe spaces that enable the kind of dialogue that produces understanding and trust, which leads to a new, practical framework for collaboration. This interfaith collaboration, in turn, increases knowledge; fosters new social enterprises; creates new models for learning; and nurtures new, community-based endeavors to benefit people of all faiths, or none.
We want to examine and promote human flourishing as it intersects with pressing challenges in the world today, including the environment, education, health care, social and political strife, and scientific and technological progress. We understand “flourishing” as a concept that advances our relationship with God, with each other, with God’s creation, and with ourselves as creative agents. We will use this framework to explore our interests, theologies, traditions and approaches to God and life.
Our vision is to see people of all faiths flourish in caring communities that are enriched by varying beliefs and cultures, working together in service to God and one human family.
IDEA embodies four values that advance dialogue and discovery between people of varying faiths, traditions, cultures, and perspectives.
The four values are these:
· Partnering with others as peers and equals
· Engaging charitably amid disagreements
· Learning from those who are willing to teach us
· Contributing to our socially minded and religiously shaped cultures
We start by listening and asking questions, and move toward concrete, jointly-owned initiatives that promote human flourishing. We recognize the need for sustained, patient engagement with the complex challenges presented by globalization. However, we want to move from enquiry to action, from ideas to strategies, and from explorations to collaborations.
We begin by inquiring each other in a search for common ground on which to build shared strategies, recognizing that communities of differing faith traditions are shaped by fundamentally different ways of understanding. We see the challenges, but our goal remains to find common territory in which to plant shared action. This requires us to forge strategies that are not borne by political expediency or “ad hoc” wins, but rather by cultivating sustained relationships that respect each community’s insight and input into the society they share.