Spring 2018 Retreat


What is The Golden Rule, and How Do We Live it?

Our Retreat was held at the Turkish American Society, hosted by the women's group. Our topic focused on how Christianity, Islam and Judaism all promote various interpretations of the social imperative we think of as the Golden Rule, commonly expressed as "Treat others as you wish to be treated."  Our retreat, featuring speakers from each faith explored how each religion advocates and interprets the Golden Rule, including various texts and writings that explain and deepen our understanding.  In discussion groups that followed our presentations,  we considered our diverse perceptions of the Golden Rule and talked about how we use it within the circles of our own lives, as well as the obstacles that can hinder our efforts to practice it.  

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Catherine Inserra

Director of Christian Formation & Student Ministry at Trinity United Methodist Church in Wilmette. She has enjoyed working with non-profit organizations and churches for over 38 years focusing on educating and empowering children, youth and parents. Catherine received her Certificate of Spiritual Formation from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL in 2017. She will be consecrated as a Deaconess in May 2018 at the United Methodist Women’ s Assembly in Columbus, OH as she responds to her calling to serve the United Methodist church in love, service, and justice through Christian formation and student ministry. Her passion for faith formation in the classroom, in worship, through service, and in daily life brings creative twists to the lifelong journey of discipleship.  Catherine believes that "growing in body and wisdom like Jesus" invites all persons into an exciting and challenging faith journey that is grounded in rich Biblical traditions and meaningful relationships for living in Christian community and the world today.

Rabbi Rachel Weiss

Rabbi Weiss joined Jewish Reconstruction Congregation in 2016 and is known for her commitment to Jewish life that is creative, connective, and deep.  She brings her warmth and energy to life cycle officiation and pastoral counseling, is an innovative teacher of Torah and a passionate spiritual leader.  A graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, Rabbi Weiss was an Aaron and Marjorie Ziegelman scholar, and the recipient of the Berger Prize in Practical Rabbinics.  She holds a certificate in Congregational Life and has taken leadership roles within the Reconstructionist movement.

Dr. Rasha Ali

Dr. Ali is a comprehensive ophthalmologist and cornea trained specialist who practices in Bloomingdale, IL. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, having attended UIC for both undergraduate and medical training. She is the proud mother of 2 boys who attend MCC Academy. She is the daughter of Indian immigrants. Rasha credits her mother for her religious upbringing and for the inculcation of the Islamic values she holds dear. Although born in the United States, Rasha has also lived in multiple parts of the Muslim world including Jeddah and Dhahran in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Cairo, Egypt. Her sense of Muslim identity is additionally fueled by her exposure to various Muslim cultures. For the past few years, Rasha has been a part of the Muslim American communities of Des Plaines and MCC, and enjoys partaking in interfaith events.