James VanderWeele is Minister of Community Church Unitarian Universalist, New Orleans. He is a board member of the interfaith community organization Congregations Acting Together. He has received an award that recognizes his outstanding ministerial service and his involvement in interfaith social activist networks. He is interested in the restructuring of our police and courts to provide an increased sense of public safety.

“I come from the position where it’s important in this world for people to understand that there are other people who are also seeking truth, seeking connection with the Divine, seeking a better way of life, seeking peace, and fairness, and equity in human affairs. And I see that in Hizmet. I see it in a very distinct way in Hizmet. And so, seeing that tells me that it is appropriate for me. It is a call of my heart to say, “I accept, I welcome, I would like to know more, and thank you for the presence of Hizmet on this Earth.””

“I appreciate Hizmet’s approach to education, first and foremost. I appreciate also that the people that I’ve met who are followers of Hizmet are educated people. And not only that they are educated, but they have used their education to find employment that’s worthy and noble and befitting of human character. And so that is what I appreciate most about Hizmet, is the focus on education.”

“Hizmet’s interfaith work reaches out to people where they are. Does not limit or try to shape people where they are. Allows people to be who they are. And yet says, despite whatever differences we may have on this point or that point, it is important that we be in dialog. And that dialog, to me, is a critical step of healing the world’s woes.”

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