Friday, June 15, 2007
Greetings. I am Dr. Thomas Al-Fakkir. You may call me Thomas, Thom, Dr. Al-Fakkir, or just Doctor. But please do not call me Dr. Thomas. I find that to be an offensive term of address.
Your Reverend Timothy Plarvik has given me the job of Director of Ecumenical Outreach at Spirit of Vatican II Catholic Faith Community. But I did not accept this job. The job I accepted is the Director of Ecumenical inreach! What is the difference, you ask?
Outreach is a means of changing others - making them more like us. The Catholic Church has a long and sordid history of Outreach. First the Church Outreached to the pagans, and killed them in great numbers. Then the Chuch outreached to the Jews, and slew them as well. Then the Church outreached to the Moslem Peoples, and drove them from their lands. If this was not enough, the Church even outreached to other Christian Faiths, imprisoning, torturing, and depriving them of life.
No. It is not Outreach we need, but Inreach. For this is what Ecumenism is. This is what your Spirit of Vatican II calls us to do. To reach in. To reach in to ourselves, to our faith community, and to ask: "What is it that makes us repulsive? What is it that causes us to shun others, to close our doors?"
You may be aware of a Great Crusade being carried forth in the name of the Church by the warmonger George Bush? We must ask ourselves "How have we made this war happen?" and "Why are we killing so many Moslems?"
Yes my friends, we must Inreach. So that is who and what I am. I am the Director of Ecumenical Inreach. If you must shorten this, as you have with the name of your faith community, then you may call me the D.E.I. or DEI.
As your Reverend Timothy Plarvik has said, you will find me in all corners of your faith community. Inreaching. When I see something I do not like, I will challenge you.
I will not however be always here at S.O.V.2. I have a very busy schedule, which follows:
Monday: Knoxville Rotarians Banquet Night
Tuesday: Potluck Night at the Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Temple
Wednesday: Worship Service at Gay Street United Methodist
Thursday: Meeting of the East Tennessee Rationalists
Friday: Evening Prayer at Al-Hasqa Mosque
Saturday: Morning Shibboleth at Ben Stiller Synagogue
Sunday: Sunrise Service at First Church of the Nazarene, 10am Mass at SOV2
Peace Be Upon You