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Interfaith Partners of SC - IDEAL keynote(s)

Posted on November 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM


Reverend Roy Mitchell of Columbia College gave the keynote address at the Interfaith Partners of South Carolina annual meeting last night. Rev Mitchell is a fan of acronyms, so he made up this one out of the word IDEALS to illustrate what has actually been happening in South Carolina as the 10 faith groups represented in this volunteer organization have been working towards the goal of understanding and practicing Compassion within and between their communities.

I = Interfaith

D = Dialogue

E = Encounter

A = Activism

L = Literacy

S = Service

At the start of his address, Rev Mitchell used the word intentionality, and I mistakenly wrote this down as the first element in the acronym. The word stuck in my consciousness so firmly that I was compelled to look it up this morning to explore the meaning. Two dictionay definitions give the meaning I inferred from the context:

"the fact of being deliberate or purposive" and "the state of having or being formed by an intention"

I went on to read about intentionality as a philosophical term, which the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines like this:

"Intentionality is the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs." See for more on this concept. I don't quite understand what this all means in practical terms, but I have a feeling it will become clearer if I set my mind to contemplating it. Meanwhile, your comments and insights are welcome!

After the keynote address (and a break for cookies, fruit and coffee) each of the 10 panelists expressed how they, and their community members, had acted on the idea or intention of being compassionate - a seed sown through the 'Charter of Compassion' initiative.

Photo Caption: Panelists at the IPSC Annual Meeting, 11/9/2014, at Columbia College, SC.

One member of the audience asked about how the IPSC was organized. They have a 12-member volunteer Board of Directors, and a larger 'advisory' group made up of individuals from the 10 groups currently represented (Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, Sikh and Unitarian Universalist). Dr Evans, the IPSC Board Chair, noted that this was obviously not an all-inclusive list and that other groups were welcome to join. We note that there was at least one member of the Religious Society of Friends also in attendance.

Some of the panelists echoed - in diverse language - the idea that we could achieve more if we worked together more. It seems to me the intentionality (for compassion and inclusiveness) is firmly in place and that this is the necessary first step in an Interfaith enterprise, just as it is the first letter in Interfaith and Ideal. We'll be posting more from the IPSC meeting (including thoughts on the "DEALS" from Rev Mitchell's acronym) in the near future. 

Peace, Niki D

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