From the Director

Shem Center For Interfaith Spirituality

Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality
Joseph Kilikevice, Founding Director
Steven G. Miller, Assistant Director

Shem Center Christmas Message, 2022

Shem Center Christmas Message, 2022

Dear friends,

Warm wishes, holiday good cheer, contentment, and happiness is what I want to convey in my annual Christmas message. It’s traditional and expected. But I find I’m falling somewhat short of writing a positive, reassuring message this time. I certainly want our children to feel the delight of unwrapping gifts and the surprises they contain, the colorful lights and decorations on the Christmas tree and the creche under it depicting the reason for celebrating so liberally. Surely they deserve our efforts to give them memories to recall years later as lovely expressions of ours and God’s love.

Yet, for us adults denial of what is true in today’s world, no matter how commonly accepted “alternative truths” may be, blatant lies are still lies and along with the Christmas gifts we give our children teaching them how to spot the difference between truth and lies is one gift they will need for the rest of their lives.

“Let’s pretend” may be what we choose to give our children by way of protecting them from the sadness that comes with the truth of today’s world, but kindness and compassion are born out of acknowledging the truth we are asked to do something about. I am left wondering how much pretending the children of Ukraine have the luxury of enjoying. For us this is not a time for denial, but a time of telling a true story, one in which we are called to participate in.

The Christmas message I add to this letter is my way of saying that truth matters, as does memory and story and the Scriptural narrative we have been given to guide us. Our lives today are also Sacred Scripture for they contain an account of God present in our lives, suffering with us and guiding us as we work for justice and a world healed from violence, destruction and lies.

Wishing you a truth filled Christmas time,
Br. Joseph Kilikevice, OP
Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality

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Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality
708 North Harvey Avenue
Oak Park, IL 60302

(708) 848-1095

Photo Credits: Emory Mead, Stephen B. Starr, Joseph Kilikevice

The Shem Center for Interfaith Spirituality website is awarded a 2022 American Digital Design Award for excellence in design and user experience.

2022 American Digital Design Awards