Living Interfaith Church FAQ’s

So what’s an Interfaith Church?  We look at the universe and our world and say there is no one “right” spiritual answer; that all of our spiritual traditions call upon us to love and respect one another.  We celebrate our differing spiritual paths.

Why “Church”?  The possible roots of the word are significant to us.  Church may come from old English and old Germanic.  The word means “circle.”  So it is possible that the root of “church” is a circle, a community.  We come together as a circle.  New research has challenged the etymology.  But regardless, we come together as a circle and use the word “church” in that context.

Is Interfaith “no faith?”  To respect all faith traditions is not to ignore their importance or their differences. As example, Christianity is different from Buddhism.  Islam is different from Humanism.  Hinduism is different from Judaism.  But in each what is the same is the call to compassion, the call to think beyond ourselves, to recognize that we are all connected.  Interfaith calls upon us not to ignore our differences, but to rather to respect them, and to realize that each of our paths, in their own special and different way, call us to love and to be loving.

Then what is Interfaith, as a faith?  Interfaith, as a faith, believes that we each encounter the sacred in our own way. Our encounters with the sacred are important to us and deeply personal. Interfaith embraces the teachings of all spiritual paths that lead us to seek a life of compassionate action.  Interfaith, as a faith, does not seek to discover which religion or spiritual path is “right.”  Rather, it recognizes that we are all brothers and sisters, and that a different times and different places we have encountered the sacred differently. 

Why “Living” Interfaith?  We believe it is essential to practice what we preach: to live our Interfaith call to compassionate  engagement with the world.

What do you believe?  What is expected of members?  Please see our “Covenant and Six Fundamental Assumptions”, located in the “Church Foundations” section of the website.

Who is the Minister?  Steven Greenebaum was raised within the Jewish tradition and practices his Jewish spiritual path within the framework of Interfaith.  He holds Masters degrees in Music and Mythology as well as Theology.  Steven is an ordained, Jewish, Reverend.  That’s Interfaith for you!

Where are your services?  Our services are from September, through June at the Good Shepherd Baptist Church.  The address is 6915  196th Street Sw in Lynnwood. 

How do I get there?

Coming south on I-5 (Everett area) take exit 181.  That’s 196th Street, Lynnwood.  You’ll want to be going west on 196th.  You’ll pass major intersections at 44th Ave. W and then State Route 99.  Several blocks after 99, you’ll see Good Shepherd on your right.  Look for the Living Interfaith sign to point you to parking.

Coming north on I-5 (Shoreline/Seattle area) take exit 181A.  That’s 44th Avenue W.  Turn left onto 44th Ave W.  Turn left on 196th.  You’ll pass a major intersection at State Route 99.  Several blocks after, you’ll see Good Shepherd on your right.  Look for the Living Interfaith sign to point you to parking.

Do you have services every week?  Our services are on alternate Saturdays at 11:30 AM.  For our schedule, check this link.  We have a pot-luck immediately after every service, and guests are cordially invited to participate. 

Is there accessible parking?  There is plenty of parking in the church parking lot behind the church.  But please be sure not to park in the parking spaces reserved for the people who live next door to Good Shepherd.  They have reserved spaces in front of the church.

Is there more to this than Saturdays?  Yes!  We believe that being involved in our community is an important part of who we are.  We have already developed a close relationship with the Lynnwood Food Bank, and everyone is  encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to every service (unfortunately, the need for food is constant).  Over time, we hope to be even more involved in service to and with our community.

I live in Seattle or south of Seattle.  Is there a closer Interfaith Church?   Absolutely!  There’s Interfaith Community Church in Ballard!!  Here’s a link to their website.

Do you do weddings?  Steven strongly believes in the separation of church and state, and that weddings are a civil matter.  Living Interfaith does offer Interfaith wedding celebrations.

Tell me more!  For more information, try us out!  Come for a month, talk to members, and see what our services and our diverse and loving community are all about.

8 Responses to Living Interfaith Church FAQ’s

  1. Dave Clark says:

    Blessings upon you and may Jesus be your Truth,Way and Life Life is good
    Remember the Good and encourage others to associate in Truth and Love.
    Amen

    • steven says:

      Your thoughts are appreciated. From an Interfaith perspective, Jesus is a good way, but not the only way to reach the sacred. We embrace and respect humanity’s diverse ways of approaching the sacred. And, in the end, we tend to believe it is not so much the path a person walks, but how that person walks his/her path that truly counts.

      • Hi Steve ~I love what you are doing, AND . . . reading to above email, and your response, and hearing the “we” speak, I wonder . . . how to take care with Interfaith Community so that it does not turn into yet another orthodoxy?? How to respond to outreach or greetings from religious exclusivists with welcome, and not with a “we” statement of doctrine that might feel like a push-away? A Buddhist priest friend of mine says being a Buddhist does not mean you can’t be a Christian or a Jew or a pagan or anything else, that Buddhism is not a religion. Is there a way to have Interfaith Worship Communities that are include exclusivists? Who want to meet and encounter those from others faiths, and learn about other faiths? Can a person be a member of your community AND a member of a faith community that is a community of one faith? is it possible for someone to be a member of your community and not be either/or, or “everything”, or universalists with varied backgrounds, but be both/and? Thank you for letting me wonder aloud on your site, and thank you for what you are doing. I love to visit communities of different faiths. I personally think it would be wonderful to have places to go to celebrate sacredness in varied traditions, and still have a place to go to rejoice in Jesus in particular with those who feel similarly called.
        Lysle

        • steven says:

          Hello Lysle ~ You ask a lot of good questions. A part of what you ask really marks the difference between an interfaith service and an Interfaith service. We tend to live in an unfortunate “either or” world. I’m pretty much of a “both and” kind of person. There is not only room, but welcome room for BOTH interfaith and Interfaith services.

          In an interfaith service, and I have attended many, there is a coming together of people of differing faiths. This may well include what you have called people who are religious exclusivists. These are important and worthwhile attempts to communicate and learn.

          An Interfaith service has as an article of faith that there are many approaches to the sacred. So there is a “We” here. And the “we” believe that Buddhists, Hindus, Jews, Christians, Muslims, Baha’i, Humanists and many others have valid ways of approaching the sacred. So we are not interested in trying to determine whose path is “right.” What we are interested in is sharing our diverse paths with each other as a part of sharing who we are, and working together towards bringing the world of compassion, love and community that ALL of our paths have begged us to embrace. We do so very intentionally without judging each others’ spiritual path.

          That said, and to address your last point, we also with intention meet twice a month. The whole point of meeting every other week rather than every week is to allow for people to be “bi-churched.” Our bylaws specifically state that a person does not have to “leave” her/his personal spiritual path to join ours. One *does* need to broaden his/her path; but not leave it. About half of our members belong to other spiritual communities as well as Living Interfaith. So, if you lived in our neighborhood, there would be nothing (from our church’s perspective) to keep you from attending a specifically Christian church every other week and our Interfaith church every other week. But (and you knew there had to be a “but” somewhere 🙂 ) a crucial part of our church is that we gather not to convert or convince but to share. People who come wanting to “share” their belief that their way is the only “right” way very quickly find themselves feeling out of place.

  2. Kyle says:

    Will you be moving the church into other areas? Possibly into populated areas like NYC?

    • steven says:

      Hello Kyle, Living Interfaith is growing in other cities … one congregation at a time. If you are interested in starting a Living Interfaith congregation (or church, or group), please check out “Practical Interfaith.” The purpose for writing the book was to make starting Living Interfaith congregations more easily accomplished wherever there is interest. After our presentation at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in October, I know there will be Living Interfaith congregations beginning in at least four U.S. cities, but in all honesty I can’t tell you which ones. Good luck to you!

  3. Flor Rosas says:

    I want to use this site for a research project and i was just curious about when this was published and who wrote it. i have to cite the website of course! i want to give you credit for the information you provided!

    • steven says:

      Sorry for the late response. The Living Interfaith FAQ’s were written by Rev. Steven Greenebaum. They are updated as needed. The last update was approximately a year ago. Oops! On quick review, something needed updating. So, the latest update is today.

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