Every last Tuesday of the month, the Austin Area Interreligious Ministries hosts a Red Bench event at First United Methodist Church Family Life Center (Corner of 13th and Lavaca) from 6-8pm. The Red Bench is symbollic of a place to come and share stories or conversation about common ground within different religious paths.
Several years ago, when writing about the need for conversations that build lasting relationships, Dr. Betty Sue Flowers recommended that corporations and other organizations place red benches in their public spaces. The idea was simple – by sitting on one of these red benches you were signaling to others that you were open to a conversation about something that really matters to you. The red bench became both a symbol to underscore the importance of conversation and an actual place where these conversations could occur.
In this spirit, AAIM initiated and continues to lead a monthly interfaith dialog program entitled The Red Bench: Interfaith Conversations that Matter. Participants of all faiths are welcome and encouraged to share life-stories and experiences around a chosen theme. We share a light vegetarian meal at 6:00 pm and begin our dialog program at 6:30 pm. This program is free and open to all.
For more information, please visit www.aaimaustin.org/redbench.html or give us a call at 512-386-9145.
Chuck Ragland saysApril 6, 2010 at 11:33 am
The Red Bench project is something our new ‘Interfaith Chapel’ (by whatever name we choose to call it) should seriously consider incorpoating to it’s activities. One way would be to put a couple or more benches on Speedway across the street in front of our parking lot that is leased by CapMetro during the week for park & ride. We might also put a couple seomwhere on the our side of Speedway & 40th St to invite people in the community to ‘come sit a spell’ with us since was don’t have a front porch to ‘set’ on & chat about common & divergent spirtual beliefs. IMHO, the disappearance of front porches over many years has contributed greatly to the loss of commmunity.