On May 13th, we Muslims will be celebrating our holiday called Eid-al-Fitr.  Eid al-Fitr, also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast” or Lesser Eid, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. This religious Eid spans the first three days of the month […]

Thoughts about the Future of Churches/Synagogues/Mosques and Religious Freedom in America

Just as we got ready for Passover, Easter, Ramadan and Norwuz, the Gallup organization raised eyebrows finding that fewer than half of Americans now belong to a house of worship, a downward trend that has persisted for some time. Gallup: Fewer than half of Americans belong to a church or other house of worship (religionnews.com)  […]

Why I am getting the Covid-19 Vaccination

Next week, I will be getting my second Pfizer vaccination shot.  Other than a sore arm for twenty-four hours (that proved to me something actually happened) I suffered no ill effects from the first shot.  I know there are people who are hesitating and even refusing to get vaccinated against Covid-19, and that they have […]

The Other Tysons

As Spring unfolds, the pandemic recedes, and it seems like we all can breathe just a little bit better again, our nation continues to reel from the storm winds of racial injustice. Just last weekend, for example, at a special convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to which I am a delegate, we came […]

First Female Muslim Chaplain Serves the US Military

By:  John Fairfield, Lieutenant General USAF (Retired) (Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske) In February, 1st Lt. Saleha Jabeen became the U.S. military’s first female Muslim chaplain, graduating from the Air Force Basic Chaplain Course at Maxwell Air Force Base.  The following is extracted from an Air Force article about her:   https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2506448/first-female-muslim-chaplain-graduates-from-air-force-chaplain-corps-college/ […]

Thin Spaces, and the Joy of Birds

I remember the first bird that piqued my interest in taking up the hobby of birding —it was the strangest thing I’d ever seen! It about thirty years ago, and this fellow was sitting as still as you please under a tree in my backyard. I was able to draw a terrible rendering of it […]

The Joys of “Edge City” Gardening and Virginia Historic Gardens Week

My eighty-seven-year-old mother is an incredible gardener.  Until she gave up her own home in rural Maryland and moved in with my husband and me in McLean (just on the edge of Tysons), she had an exceptionally large vegetable and flower garden that my siblings and I loved to raid each summer and the grandkids […]

The Sikh celebration of Baisakhi – The Birth of the Khalsa

Just about every spiritual path celebrates spring in a special way. For those of us who follow the Sikh way of life, in spring, we celebrate our most auspicious holiday, called Baisakhi.  This year, Baisakhi is celebrated on April 13th. The Sikh way of life was established by ten successive Sikh Gurus in India. Each […]

Ramadan Reflections

Monday, April 12th, 2021 marks the ninth month in the Islamic calendar when for thirty days, over 3.5 million American Muslims will fast and “yes, even forego water.”  Ramadan for Muslims world-wide not only is one of our five pillars[1] or religious tenets, it is also an opportunity to reset, renew, and rejuvenate your spiritual […]

The Lord’s Prayer: A New Zealand Translation

In a recent Lenten reflection session at St. Thomas Episcopal, we talked about prayer, using as our starting point the Lord’s Prayer, which is well-known even in our secular culture. Noting how reciting the same words over and over can become stale, one person shared how they had been deeply moved when they used an alternate […]