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Rev. Judy Blonski

Rev. Judy BlonskiUpon reflection, it seems I have always been interested in the spiritual part of life, spending a lot of time in various churches as a girl and later throughout college. Raised Christian, I discovered Judaism and converted in my early 20’s, becoming active in synagogue life. By my mid-30’s, however, I felt drawn to learn more about the historical Jesus, so also began attending Unity church. Several years later I felt a “call to ministry” and began seminary at the Claremont School of Theology in CA. Although a wonderful experience, I wanted to find a way to bring Judaism back into my life. Good friends alerted me to New Seminary and Rabbi Joseph Gelberman in New York. He told me of the two interfaith seminaries in CA and I chose Golden Gate Interfaith Seminary in Berkeley. Two years later I was graduated and ordained by The Interfaith Circle in 1998. California became my permanent home.

Soon I began holding interfaith worship in the name of ALL FAITHS CELEBRATION. After a year I felt I could better serve as an interfaith minister by reaching out into the community more. At the request of the Orange Co. Human Relations Commission, I organized and facilitated its first faith-based Living Room Dialogue group that the Commission had designed to help deter the gang violence in some Orange Co. neighborhoods. The dialogue was successful, running three years. I then moved to San Diego County and created ALL FAITHS DIALOGUE based on the model of the one I had just left. I wanted to bring people of diverse faith backgrounds together to talk in a non-judgmental, safe atmosphere where I could both guide them and participate in the discussions. I have found that, in such a sacred environment, people enjoy talking about their everyday lives and how their personal faiths and spiritual journeys inform those. I have witnessed how such open sharing can lead to increased awareness and a deeper understanding within a diverse group of people. At the very least, newfound respect and, optimally, lifelong friendships usually result for many.

With each move, I enjoy searching out and attending worship and events at diverse intercultural/interfaith centers and meeting the spiritual leaders. I am usually invited back after they understand that I am an interfaith minister. Then, if there is interest and we are comfortable with each other, I ask if I can call them or someone they recommend should there be an opportunity for them to speak on their faith tradition during some interfaith event I am organizing. This has been the beginning of many new friendships for me. Another part of my ministry has been actively engaging in local interfaith-based groups, which has proven mutually beneficial. Also, because I enjoyed doing so, for several years I wrote a monthly online interfaith newsletter, which included Dialogue meeting information, a little message, and dates and mini-explanations of important faith-based observances and events for the month. That has been downsized to a little quarterly interfaith-based letter sent online and in the mail. Throughout the years I have met several other ministers with an “interfaith bent.” Some have asked me to “sub” for them at worship from time to time or included me during their worship, which I really enjoy doing. Now, in 2012 and newly transplanted to Illinois, I am already being asked to speak on the subject of “Exactly what is an interfaith minister?” With such interest, I hope to soon create and facilitate another ALL FAITHS DIALOGUE group, something I look forward to with great joy and anticipation.

As my ministry is now sixteen years strong and there is still much to share,
please feel free to contact me at      Namaste’ and Peace.     Judy

The Interfaith Circle at The Home of Truth ~ 1300 Grand Street, Alameda, CA 94501 ~ Phone: 510-481-5599 ~