Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Rabbi, Reverend, Mullah, & Monk are My Traveling Companions

Last week at Wake-Up Wednesday, Reverend Mark Pafford of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Cookeville joined us for the second time. Rev. Pafford brought us a talk about the many different religions he carries around with him as teachers.

He grew up in the United Methodist tradition and was a Methodist minister for some time.  Following his time as a minister, Rev. Pafford became a chaplain for the Veterans Association where he worked specifically with those dealing with addiction.  Right after high school, he joined the army and went to South Korea where he was introduced to Zen Buddhism.  This was the first step towards his interfaith journey.

Rev. Pafford described his interfaith lifestyle as looking through many different lenses.  He said that some days he may pick up the lenses from his Christian heritage while other days he may pick up the lenses of his Islamic faith and still other days he may pick up the lenses for the Buddhism he discovered at a young age.

Today, he serves as pastor to the Unitarian Universalist church in Cookeville.  The Unitarian Universalist church is a safe haven for those of many different religions, sexual orientations, and other backgrounds. Rev. Pafford is also expecting to graduate with a Master’s degree in counseling this December.

Rev. Pafford filled us in about the “Standing on the Side of Love” movement that is going on in the Unitarian Universalist and LGBT communities right now. The movement was mobilized after the shooting in a Knoxville church where LGBT believers were welcome.  They are working to continue to fight for the rights of the people of the LGBT community.

Join us next week with guest Jenn Ulschak with a talk titled “A Christian Woman Wears a Hijab”.

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