Thursday, March 5, 2009

Announcing NEW Interfaith eLerts

Interfaith eLerts - a cross-cultural celebration of sacred days and religious observances . . . in your inbox!

Understanding is the key to global harmony. And knowledge is the key to understanding. A FREE subscription to “Interfaith eLerts” brings you a series of emails which arrive just before, and briefly explain the significance of, each of the world’s primary holy days. (Included are observances from the Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Confucian, Daoist, Hindu, Islamic, Jain, Jewish, Native American, Shinto, Sikh, and Zoroastrian traditions.)

Interfaith eLerts are FREE – there is no obligation of any kind and you may unsubscribe at any time. To subscribe to Interfaith eLerts, simply follow this link: Interfaith eLerts and complete and submit the subscription form.

Shalom Salaam Peace

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

25,000 Blog Visitors!!!

The Common Tables Blog had it's 25,000th visitor today! 25,000 visitors from 122 countries! Another milestone . . . and we are excited about every visitor who has taken the time to stop by!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The one you call the lover is actually the Beloved - Rumi

The Sufis imagine Allah (God) as an intimate Friend, not a distant Lord of the Universe. He is their Beloved with whom they share a passionate, sacred love affair.

By imagining Allah in this way the devotee is able to enjoy a personal relationship with the ineffable One.

Sufi poets are aware that, in reality, the Beloved with whom they are enjoying a divine romance is their own deeper Self. The love affair between the devotee and the Beloved is the One become two in order to love itself.

Rumi sings to Allah:

You - the soul free from “me” and “you.”
You - the essence in every man and woman.
When the sexes become one You are that union.
You created this business of “me” and “you.”
so that You could play the game of wooing Yourself

Source: The Heart of Islam p. 82-83 by Timothy Freke

Saturday, December 27, 2008

20,000th Blog Visitor

The Common Tables Blog had it's 20,000th visitor today! 20,000 visitors from 111 countries!! A major milestone and we are pretty excited around here!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday's Food for Thought

“When will we learn, when will we the people of the world get up and say, enough is enough. God created us for fellowship. God created us so that we should form the human family, existing together because we were made for one another. We are not made for an exclusive self-sufficiency but for interdependence, and we break the law of our being at our peril.”

Desmond Tutu

Monday, December 22, 2008

Acts of Faith

Monday's Media Review

Acts of Faith:
The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation
by: Eboo Patel

An important book both for Common Tables members and for anyone interested in exploring the dynamics of interfaith harmony.

Ideal for young people struggling to understand their place in the world and their power to create meaningful change, "Acts of Faith" provides a persistent, clear, hands-on, real world vision of pluralism. The founder of the Interfaith Youth Core, Eboo Patel is a former Rhodes Scholar and holds a doctorate in the Sociology of Religion from Oxford. In "Acts of Faith", he shows how bringing young people of diverse religions together to engage in service work does not undermine their own religious identity, but actually reinforces and deepens it.

Patel provides numerous examples of how mainstream faith failed to reach young people, but his own story is even more powerful. By his example, he shows us all how it is possible to be both American and Christian or Jewish or Muslim or Buddhist or Hindu.

"Acts of Faith" reminds us of the critical, urgent role of young people as change agents. And that an angry youth can be transformed into an important leader in the cause of global harmony.
Easily one of the best contemporary first-person stories of youth activism and interfaith cooperation.

4.5 Stars!
Original Release Date:
July, 2007
Length: 189 Pages
For Special Pricing on "Acts of Faith", Click Here

Friday, December 19, 2008

Dr. Arun Gandhi on Common Tables:

Dr. Arun Gandhi, President, M. K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY:

"The conflicts and misunderstandings that proliferate in the world today are issues that should concern all of us since these attitudes lead to violence. Common Tables is a unique project to bring disparate people together across a common table to break bread and dialogue to reach an understanding. I have no hesitation in endorsing this venture wholeheartedly and wish them great success."

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Continuing this month's "appetizer" theme, bring a batch of these along with last week's suggested Rosemary Walnuts.


These nuts are first sautéed and then lightly toasted to crisp perfection. Remember to save some for your guests!

Yield: 3 Cups

3 Tablespoons butter
3 cups pecan halves
½ cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika *
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup cider vinegar
salt to taste

Set oven rack on middle level. Preheat oven to 325°F.

Melt butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add pecans and sauté, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Cook just until the nuts are lightly browned and begin to smell toasted. Add the brown sugar and continue cooking, still stirring, until the pecans are evenly coated and lightly caramelized.

Combine spices (cumin, chili powder, paprika, cinnamon and nutmeg) in a small bowl. Stir spice mixture into the pecans until evenly coated. Sprinkle cider vinegar over the nut mixture and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until all liquid has evaporated. Add salt to taste.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

* We prefer to use Smoked Spanish Paprika in this recipe, but the difference is a subtle one. It will be fine with what ever kind of paprika you have on hand.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An important point:

As a global family, our challenge isn’t that we can't get along with each other; it's that we just don't.

To begin to get a handle on the challenge, consider the shear numbers of differing belief systems on our ever shrinking planet. By way of example, gathers statistics for “over 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures, movements, ultimate concerns, etc.” How do we, as a truly global people, come to a place where we honor our differences – and celebrate our common ground? How can we develop a sense of global harmony at a time when a spotlight seems to be shining on our differences?

Here at Common Tables we think the solution is as simple as getting to know one another. Our model is an uncomplicated one: Bring together small groups of seemingly diverse individuals. Offer them tools which allow them to dialogue in relaxed social settings. And encourage them to break bread together and to get to know one another.

The Dalai Lama described the act of bringing food to the table as “one of the basic roots of all relationships”.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Friday's Food for Thought

This Friday we put forth a bit of the wisdom of Black Elk* (1863-1950) for you to chew on:

"The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us."

*a famous Wichasha Wakan (Medicine Man or Holy Man) of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux).

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Heard From The Tables

Dan L. Colorado, Common Tables Member

"In a world in which religion is the source of bitter division and bloodshed, as well as of love, caring and peace, it is important for people of differing faiths to find a common table where they can demonstrate a shared devotion while learning of the beliefs of others. As conceived, 'Common Tables' is an effort to facilitate that kind of sharing and learning. We have met and learned from a modest sampling of believers and unbelievers. We hope to meet more and learn more and to share our commitment to a shared humanity. "

Monday, December 8, 2008

Paper Clips - An Extraordinary Documentary

Monday's Media Review:

A beautiful documentary.

Set in a middle school in a small town in rural Tennessee, this film details an extraordinary experiment in Holocaust education. As they struggle to comprehend the idea of six million victims, the eighth grade students at Whitwell Middle School decide to collect six million paper clips to help them grasp the terrible vastness of the tragedy. The film details not only how the students collected millions upon millions of paper clips, but shows how they met Holocaust survivors from around the world.

You will be transformed as you watch the project change not only the students, but the entire town of Whitwell, Tennessee.

We give this one 5 Stars!!
Original Release Date: 2004
Length: 82 minutes

Friday, December 5, 2008

Milestones Project

Some of the best work in support of global harmony that we know of is being done by the folks at the Milestones Project. Click Here to check out their website. Their products are wonderful and the work they are doing is second to none!! The pictures and text below are from their site:

When we lose our first teeth, when we take our first steps, when we make our first friends, we are members of a single global family. Our joy and pride are identical, regardless of our nationality, ethnicity or religion.

Please support the Milestones Project in any way that you can.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Most of our tables choose to divide up the food preparing aspect of their gatherings. A common way of doing so is to have one member bring a salad, one a dessert and one an appetizer. When it's your turn for the appetizer, here's one that's quick and easy to prepare, simple to transport, and is always a big hit:


We have seen similar recipes using only olive oil and others using only butter. To our tastes the combination we suggest here is superior.

Yield: 2 Cups

2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crumbled
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 cups walnut halves

Set oven rack on middle level. Preheat the oven to 325°F.

Mix the olive oil, melted butter, rosemary, salt and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add the walnuts and toss until the nuts are coated with the olive oil mixture.

Spread the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast, stirring occasionally, until the walnuts start smelling toasted – about 15 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.