Thursday, October 16, 2014



A  visual response to


Welcome back to the special blog series to showcase the  
Unraveled Traveling Art Exhibit 
Unraveled is a traveling art exhibit based on the themes 
explored in Project Interfaith's is an interactive, multimedia website featuring 
more than 1,000 short video interviews of people discussing their 
religious or spiritual identity, stereotypes that they have encountered, 
and how welcoming they have found their communities to be.

The second artist in our series is Monica Yother and her piece
called At The Heart of It All

At the Heart Of It All
Monica Yother
Mixed media

Yother chose watercolor because she wanted the rough texture of the ground to show through and influence the way the watercolor worked. Yother has added details in colored pencil, raffia and burlap to add a tactile element.  Yother’s faith came at a cost, and is layered and not always neat and tidy, and she chose her medium to convey that.

 Unraveled is currently on display at Martin Methodist College 
from October 1st until October 31st. Click here for more information on 
Unraveled Traveling Art Exhibit!

HOST Unraveled at your school or organization.
VISIT to learn more.
JOIN the conversation on social media using: #UNRAVELED.
SHARE your story on


Unraveled and  
are programs of Project Interfaith.

Project Interfaith is an educational non-profit organization that grows understanding, respect and relationships among people of all faiths, beliefs and cultures. For more information:

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Series Premiere of Unraveled Art Exhibit

Welcome to Project Interfaith's blog. We are back and better than ever! We have a special blog series to showcase the Unraveled Traveling Art Exhibit.  
Unraveled is a juried traveling art exhibit featuring multiple works of 
differing size and medium created by a variety of artists. 
Each of the following pieces are inspired by is a multimedia exploration 
of the tapestry of religious and spiritual identities 
that make up our communities and world. 



A  visual response to


Project Interfaith invited artists to submit art pieces that were inspired 
by We received an overwhelming response 
by fifty-two artists
The first artist in our series is Richard Harrison and his piece 
called From Imagination to Image

From Imagination to Image
Richard Harrison
Colored pencil, digital design

Here, Harrison expresses that there are many who cross their own wildernesses to come to a place of finding God's inspiration. They come from suffering of different kinds, historical and individual struggles. Their encounter leads to covenants with God and with each other. Out of that encounter with God springs a life of creativity, and love.

 Unraveled is currently on display at Martin Methodist College 
from October 1st until October 31st. Click here for more information on 
Unraveled Traveling Art Exhibit!

HOST Unraveled at your school or organization.
VISIT to learn more.
JOIN the conversation on social media using: #UNRAVELED.
SHARE your story on


Unraveled and  
are programs of Project Interfaith.

Project Interfaith is an educational non-profit organization that grows understanding, respect and relationships among people of all faiths, beliefs and cultures. For more information:

Facebook Icon  Twitter Icon  Google Plus Button  Pinterest  Linked In Logo

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

When Friends Touch the Sacred

written by guest blogger, Lynnea Stuart

Some people think I’m Jewish.  I’m not.

Not only am I a goya (Gentile female), I’m a transsexual Gnostic goya who happens to study Hebrew.

But my best female friend is Jewish… and single.  Sometimes we get together to commiserate about men.  I told her one day, “Why don’t you get serious about your tradition?  Go to Shabbat services.  Light some candles.”

Then I moved away from my boyfriend.  She asked me to stay with her.  For the first week or so I never saw her doing anything more for Shabbat than macrobiotic cooking which isn’t quite the same thing as kosher cooking even if it’s consistent with kosher rules.  So I decided to prompt something to happen.

I went out and bought some candles designed to burn down in a couple of hours.  When it comes to Sabbath lights, one does not extinguish them once lit.  They are simply allowed to burn themselves out.

So we looked around for some candlesticks.  What we found that fit were some silver candlesticks so neglected they were heavily bearded in red wax.  I said, “Those should work.”  She was shaken.

As I learned later, these were her grandmother’s candlesticks she had used for Shabbat.

I continued my preparations:  shower, cooking, cleaning.  Then as sunset approached I prompted her to the Sabbath lights.  She lit them and melted them into their sockets.  She covered her eyes and said, “Will you recite the barakhah (blessing)?”


I  demurred because, after all, I’m not Jewish.  I was just trying to get her to exercise her own tradition.  But she assured me with, “Yes.”

I waved my hands over the candles in a circular pattern, crossed them to cover my eyes and recited, “Barukh Atah, Adonai Eloheinu, Melekh Ha’olam, Asher kiddeshanu b’mitvotaiv vitzivanu l’hadliyk ner shel Shabbat.” (Blessed are You, Lord Our God, King of the Universe, Who sanctified us in His commands and commanded us to kindle a light of Sabbath)

My Jewish friend followed along with me in one of the few barakhot I actually know.  But no sooner than we recited it something remarkable happened.

Picture an explosion of a skyrocket like on the 4th of July.  At that moment Light burst from between those candles with energy we both felt, a Lumina that filled the dwelling in a vibrant hush.

My friend’s eyes widened.  “Wow!  This is a holy meal!”

I then understood something from what I had read in various Rabbinic articles.  What my Magian friends had called, “Light” must have been what the Rabbis called, “Chai” (Life).  It felt the same as I had felt many times in many traditions:  tingly, living, and wonderful.  It’s an energy one encounters when touching the sacred.  It alone has kept not a few from returning to the rites of their respective traditions again and again.

And that Shabbat I had the privilege of sharing it with a Jewish friend.

Did she light Sabbath lights on her own after that?  I never saw it happen.  But she did clean up those candlesticks and set them in an honored place on her table… with decorative Shabbat candles for another heralding of Shabbat as a sanctuary in time.  And I offered a prayer that the man she may find would lead her to light those candles again.

For even in something simple as lighting candles, there’s a profound Light ready to answer, regardless of whether a girl is of a given faith or not… and regardless of whether religionists accept her a woman.

Lynnea Urania Stuart was first published in Shabbat Shalom magazine (Review and Herald Publishers) as a contributing writer in 1990 and later wrote the San Francisco Scene column for TV Epic in 2000.  Her religious background is varied, though she today speaks of herself as “Melissite Gnostic” and may be found in most any religious group, whether Abrahamic, Dharmic, Shamanic, or Telestatic.  She does so openly as a post-operative transsexual woman while at the same time promoting spirituality within the transgender demographic within the wide diversity that transgender people hold spirituality.