Waiting on God: An Interfaith Conversation – Pendle Hill Dec 2-4, 2016

Facilitated by Rebecca Mays, Sheikh Ghassan Manasra, and Rabbi Marcia Prager

The expectant waiting at the core of Quaker practice is an important element in all of the Abrahamic traditions – Jewish, Christian, and Muslim. At this fallow time of the year – Advent in the Christian liturgical calendar – we gather together as people of faith(s) to explore how focal figures in each of the Abrahamic traditions (Mary, David, and the Prophet Muhammad) can illuminate our own spiritual experiences of “Waiting on God.” Three facilitators from each of these traditions and experienced in interfaith conversations will guide us as we seek together to deepen our listening, open our hearts to hear and accept the message God has for us, and ready the spiritual soil for nurturing the gift to maturity.

When we wait expectantly, we are preparing ourselves to receive an answer; the waiting period serves as a time of preparation. It is a time of active engagement and active listening, a spiritual practice of deepening discernment and faith and often a time of facing perplexing questions and difficult, even hurtful, situations.

In discussing key texts, we will share personal stories of our own experiences and views, share practices of “waiting for God” in our own lives and dialogue about the differences in the three traditions that can help or hinder our own practice. In increasing our understanding of the differences, we hope to deepen our own spiritual practice with less misunderstanding and greater respect.

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