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OUR WORK
OUR APPROACH
OUR TEAM
PUBLICATIONS ETC
RESPONSE FORM
KC STAR COLUMN

KC Interfaith Opportunities
and a chart of world religions and the crises of secularism
 First Draft 2006 June: Second Draft 2007; Revisions 2008; futher corrections requested.
Please report errors and omissions to staff@cres.org
This list expands upon the 2002 “Report” Appendices of the Jackson County Diversity Task Force
chaired by Vern Barnet with Rodger Kube, research associate.
copyright 2008 by Vern Barnet or the author, Overland Park, KS
 

0. Introduction

CRES may be the most connected interfaith effort in Kansas City, but it is not the only one. An increasing number of organizations bring interfaith awareness to their work, and some of them are deliberate in promoting interfaith opportunities or access. We hope this draft, the first of periodic compilations of organizations, will assist you in strengthening our community by building interfaith understanding. Please let us know about the groups we missed.

As the threat of theocracy increases, even as an individual, you can encourage America’s tradition of pluralism by

  •  supporting these organizations,
  •  writing newspapers,
  •  phoning in on talk shows,
  •  arranging speaking engagements for your clubs
  •  and specifically, working through CRES, you can
  •  write report on events for Many Paths
  •  represent CRES at meetings
  •  help to prepare Many Paths for mailing
  •  research (such as helping us to complete this list of interfaith organizations)
  •  volunteer to assist with CRES workshops, etc

  •  provide your special skills and talents, such as providing music for one of our programs, hosting a fund-raiser in your home to acquaint friends with CRES and Many Paths, assist with our web site, tape CRES appearances, etc.

 

Diversity Task Force members with County Executive Kathryn Sgields after the news conference near the First Amendment marker at Ilus Davis Park. The Report was released as planned one day before the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
     FRONT: Prof Syed Hasan, Diane Hershberger, Rita Valenciasno, the Rev Vern Barnet, DMn (chairman).
     REAR: Rabi Joshua Taub, Dick Kurtenbach, the Rev Rodger Kube (research associate), then-Chancellor George Noonan, Lama Chuck Stanford, and Prof Tom Poe. 
     NOT SHOWN: the Rev Dr Wallace Hartsfield, Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, Saad Wakas.

1. Information Sources
2.1 Organizations/Intro  2.2 Organizations/List
3. Annual Interfaith Events


INFORMATION SOURCES
* The Kansas City Star (also on line)
* Helen Gray, faith editor
* Faith announcements, Saturday
* Bill Tammeus, Saturday faith columnist and daily blogger
* Vern Barnet, Wednesday free-lance columnist and occasional blogger
* Faith columnists from many traditions appear in rotation
* Regular news and features often include topics of diverse faiths

KC Muslim News Digest (email)
The National Catholic Reporter
     This outstanding weekly (also on line) occasionalyl reports interfaith stories and special profiles of non-Christian faiths.

KC Jewish Chronicle (Fridays)
     Despite its biased, often anti-Muslim reporting and editorial stance, it is essential reading to keep abreast of local Jewish organizations. Columnist Rabbi Margolies's column is always worth reading.

Camp (monthly)
     Vern writes the “Sacred Paths” column.

Many Paths (CRES monthly journal)
     Each issue routinely contains
*an essay to guide understanding issues of pluralism,
*calendars of  community events,
* CRES programs, and
* holidays,
*comments,
*humor,
*quotations,
*poetry,
*reference resources in the supplementary insert, and
*reports from the now-independent Interfaith Council.

KCPT Channel 19 Public Television
     Occasionally the Friday KC Week in Review with Nick Haines present local religious issues with reporters and clergy.
     Wednesday's Talk Back Live with Steve Rose occasionally features guests from the field of religion.
 



 

ANNUAL INTERFAITH EVENTS

Some events may migrate from one month to another.

Mayors’ Prayer Breakfasts. — Area observances vary from decidedly Christian to deliberately interfaith events. The Raytown Community Interfaith Alliance’s observance truly is a prayer event embracing every faith.
 

JANUARY.

The annual Martin Luther King observance brings folks together from many faiths.

Salaam Shalom Dinner (see).

Journey toward Understanding (high school program).
 

FEBRUARY.

Jan 30 - Apr 4 The Season for Non-Violence, an observance of 64 days between the memorial anniversaries of Gandhi and King, is hosted in Kansas City by the Center for Spiritual Living.

National Council of Jewish Women luncheon

(Greater KC) Mayors’ Prayer Breakfast, KCMO
 

MARCH.

Raytown Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast
Harmony Week Luncheon
 

SEPTEMBER.

Annual Conferendce on Health and Spirituality, Community of Christ Temple.
 

NOVEMBER.

Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council Table of Faiths luncheon.

Harmony Choral Concert.
Crescent Peace Society annual dinner.

Festival of Faiths signature event and other programs
 

CRES  Thanksgiving Sunday  Family Interfaith Thanksgiving Ritual Meal (the Sunday before the holiday, 6p), since 1985, a full meal in liturgical style with greetings from American Indian, Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Sikh, Sufi, Unitarian Universalist, Zoroastrian and Freethinker traditions and American history and aspirations. Awards for distinguished interfaith leadership are presented.
Raytown Community Interfaith Alliance Thanksgiving Service (Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving).

Pilgrim Chapel Interfaith Thanksgiving Service (Wednesday evening before Thanksgiving).
 

DECEMBER.

Interfaith World Peace Celebration”  Dec. 31 at 6a (gather at 5:30a), Rime Buddhist Center.

ORGANIZATIONS -- Part One: Intro

This list does not include groups like the Greater Kansas City Coalition for Worker Justice, the Independence Ministerial Alliance, Raytown Community Inter-Faith Alliance, Wyandotte Interfaith Sponsoring Council, Project Equality, or More2 which develop their membership and plan their programming to be religiously inclusive but may have economic, racial, collegial, civic, or other issues as their primary focus. They may be interfaith in the sense that they involve people from several traditions, but not in the sense that their focus is the sacred as revealed through different faiths.
    Surely institutions like
* the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art,
* the International Relations Council,
* the Center for Practical Bioethics,
* the American Civil Liberties Union, and
* the American Friends Service Committee are significant resources for interfaith understanding, as are schools which offer programs and instruction in world religions such as
* the Saint Paul School of Theology,
* the Nazarene Theological Seminary,
* Central Baptist Theological Seminary
* Unity Institute
* Ottawa University—KC
* Community of Christ Seminary
* Park University
* UMKC Center for Religious Studies
* KU Department of Religious Studies
* William Jewell College
(We cannot recommend Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as its approach to non-Christian faiths is unreliable and hostile.)
     We also omit private groups open only by invitation, like the Interfaith Dinner group.
     This list does include some organizations with specific programs or directions aimed at interfaith understanding even if their main focus is broader.
     We want to salute the impact of organizations which no longer exist as well, such as Ecumedia and the KC Interfaith Peace Alliance, and interfaith relief efforts like Shifa, Kansas City Helps, and Heart to Heart International.
       Nowadays hospitals, schools, religious organizations and others are helping us all to recognizing the faiths of our neighbors through a variety of special programs.



ORGANIZATIONS -- Part Two/List

Center for Spirit at Work
4310 Madison Av #204, KCMO 64111; 816.268.1077
centerforspiritatwork.org/
info@centerforspiritatwork.org
     CSW, founded eight years ago as the Cathedral Center for Faith and Work, then based at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, offers programs by people of all faiths. Recent speakers have included Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim leaders in their fields, such as Henry Bloch, Irv Hockaday, Gary Forsee, Tom McDonnell, Mike Haverty, Bill, Terry and Peggy Dunn, Dick Miller, Carol Marinovich, Kay Barnes, Jim Stowers, Shirley and Barnett Helzberg, Joan Israelite, Buck O’Neal, Alvin Brooks, Clyde Wendel, Adel Hall, Tom Hoenig, Mahnaz Shabbir, and Vern Barnet.
     These breakfast and dinner sessions are open to the public. Those who attend get thinking of the highest quality from folks of different faiths about how the spirit informs, or can inform, the workplace.
 

Community Praying for Peace 
communitypeace.com/id18.html
     CPP provides opportunities for people of many faiths to pray together for peace.
 

CRES
[World Faiths Center for Religious Experience and Study]
Box 45414, Kansas City, MO 64171
cres.org; staff@cres.org
[aka Multi-faith Community Resource for Exploring Spirituality, 
Box 4165, Overland Park, KS 66204]

     Founded in 1982, its many achievements include founding the KC Interfaith Council with American Indian, Bahá'í, Buddhist, Christian-Protestant, Christian-Roman Catholic, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, Pagan, Sikh, Sufi, Unitarian Universalist, and Zoroastrian members, organizing the 2001 Gifts of Pluralism conference (attended by 250 youth and adults from these faiths as well as Christian Orthodox and Free-Thinker traditions) and many other workshops and conferences, planning the city-wide 2002 9/11 observances, networking with many other organizations and staffing their programs, consultation, teaching, writing, and civic leadership, including chairing a 5-county diversity study commissioned by Jackson County, with a 77-page report issued one day before the first anniversary of 9/11.
     A 32-page Interfaith Passport and other programs were the subject of a half-hour CBS-TV special in 2002 and has been imitated in other cities.
     Donna Ziegenhorn of the CRES auxiliary Mosaic, wrote the play The Hindu and the Cowboy and Other Kansas City Stories from a collection of over 80 interviews from KC area residents of all faiths following the 2001 conference.
     The 12-page monthly color journal Many Paths and web site are key interfaith resources for the metro area. Other publications are used nationally.
     The CRES minister, the Rev Vern Barnet, DMn, has won many awards from Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, and secular groups. He is a frequent speaker at area churches and writes the Wednesday “Faiths and Beliefs” column in The Kansas City Star.
     Because of the CRES network, the nation's first Interfaith Academies were held here in 2007, in cooperation with Harvard University's Pluralism Project, Religions for Peace-USA at the UN Plaza, the Saint Paul School of Theology, and the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council. Vern was a member of the international faculty and coordinated the study-visits to six area sites to supple,emy classroom experiences. Vern also signed the Certificates.
     At the Academies, designed for both students and professionals, Ellie Pierce, principal researcher for The Pluralism Project at Harvard University, began her lecture by saying, "At the Pluralism Project, we consider Kansas City to be truly at the forefront of interfaith relations. This is — in no small part — due to the tireless efforts of Vern Barnet, whose work and writings have been an inspiration to all of us at the Pluralism Project."
     Board chairs David Stallings, Larry Guillot, and L Joseph Archias have helped to make interfaith work a mainstream Kansas City priority.
     For the CRES vision, mission, values, programs, and other positions, visit the web site or turn to page 8 of Many Paths, and examine the research program suggested by the chart on the next page. CRES was founded as the [World Faiths] Center for Religious Experience and Study, sometimes known as the [multifaith] Community Resource for Exploring Spirituality. CRES is a unique approach to interfaith work, joining together relationships and scholarship, theory and practice. Its research program identifies wisdom from the world's three great families of faith to address our environmental, personal, and social crises.
 

Crescent Peace Society
crescentpeace.org/
Box 27023, Shawnee Mission, KS 66225
913-491-5509
     The Crescent Peace Society is a non-profit organization that serves as a focal point of action in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area for raising awareness of different Muslim cultures. It establishes and maintains liaisons with educational institutions, religious groups, and local media.
     In order to better represent the peaceful nature of Muslim cultures existing in the United States of America and around the world, the Society aims to analyze, evaluate, and respond to any local media publications or programs that misrepresent Muslim issues and cultures.
     The Board and the Executive Committee of Crescent Peace Society invite you to join the Society's cause for propagating a better understanding and awareness of different Muslim cultures and for peace and harmony all over the world. Membership is open to all US residents or citizens of any religious affiliation or culture.
 

Cultural Crossroads
Cultural Crossroads Inc
3605 Blue Ridge Boulevard
Independence, MO 64052; 816.737.5979
CulturalCrossroads@hotmail.com
culturalcrossroads-kc.org
     Cultural Crossroads, founded by Mary McCoy, was incorporated in 2001 and conducts cross-cultural education in an interactive environment, designed to promote tolerance and respect through understanding the commonalities across diverse cultures. The focus of all programs is on common life experiences of people of all cultures and an understanding of the unifying elements within an environment of diversity. Volunteer opportunities are limitless and include creation, scheduling, and presentation of educational programs, publicity and communication, and promoting the organization. Cultural Crossroads is also seeking to develop a cultural heritage center in the greater Kansas City area.
 

Diversity Coalition (Kansas City)
c/o Allan Abrams, aeabrams@yahoo.com
     The KCDC was organized in 1996 by the late Dr David Shapiro as an adjunct to his Minority Museum which opened in 1991 in south Kansas City. It has no formal membership and no dues. Its participants discuss international or national political issues, particularly emotionally charged topics which could be affected by one’s faith, ethnic, or regional perspective. Meetings usually are held on the 2nd Wednesday of the month., 7-9p.
 

Festival of Faiths
festivaloffaithskc.org/
info@festivaloffaithskc.org
     Initated in 2007 by folks at Village Presbyterian Church in consultation with interfaith leaders in the metro area, Festival of Faiths brings a focus to the many faith communities in our area for a fortnight in November. Its first year began with the Interfaith Council's Table of Faiths and concluded with the 23d annual CRES Interfaith Thanksgiving Sunday Family Ritual Meal. Inspired in part by a Louisville-type metro-wide collaboration to display, enjoy, and celebrate our religious diversity, it has been adapted to the unique situation and opportunities in Kansas City.
    The Greater Kansas City Community is emerging as a leader in the recognition and celebration of religious and spiritual pluralism. The festival celebrates that process by:
--Casting a spotlight on interfaith opportunities
--Building relationships that foster interfaith dialogue
--Increasing leadership through innovative program collaborations
--Identifying commonly held beliefs while deepening one’s own faith
--Widening the circle of interfaith participation
     The Festival of Faiths is a series of cornerstone events designed to build awareness of the wealth of religious and interfaith activities in Kansas City, to widen participation in interfaith dialogue, to create interfaith dialogue and relationships through the planning and execution of Festival events, and to attract a large and diverse audience for the Keynote Speaker Event, the next of which will be
January 26, 2009 with Jon Meacham,editor of Newsweek.
     The Mission of the Festival of Faiths is to discover, recognize, celebrate and promote the reality of pluralism in our community through listening, learning, understanding and experience – the exercise of acceptance.
     For additional information, or to sponsor a portion of the Festival, please contact us info@festivaloffaithskc.org, or call 913.432.2107.
 

Friends of Sacred Structures
fosskc.org/
201 Westport Road, Kansas City, MO 64111
     Friends of Sacred Structures (FOSS) is dedicated to the preservation of historic religious structures for active community use in Kansas City. FOSS strives to increase public awareness of these buildings' culture, history, and architecture.
      FOSS is an all-volunteer organization with no paid staff.  The support of contributing members is critical to sustaining FOSS programs.  We invite you to renew or become a member of FOSS.  Members receive Inspired Space, a quarterly newsletter, invitations to special events, and an opportunity to benefit historic sacred structures throughout metropolitan Kansas City. 
 

Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council
kcinterfaith.org   info@kcinterfaith.org
Shannon Clark, Executive Director, 913-    548-2973
PO Box 415, Louisburg, KS 66053
     Organized by Vern Barnet in 1989, the Council was a program of CRES until 2005. A 5,000-word history of this period is available at http://www.cres.org/now/ifc-hist.htm. CRES support for 2004 included staff work by CRES administrative assistant, Simon Gatsby, who then transitioned the Council to independence as part of a cooperative plan for 2005 with advice from Religions for Peace-USA which then provided some funding. The Council’s web site posted PDF versions of the Council’s page in the monthly CRES journal, Many Paths, for the year 2005. 
     That year on November 10, the Council awarded Vern its first “Table of Faiths” award, presented by Mayor Kay Barnes, honorary chair and keynote speaker, at a luncheon with over 600 people of all faiths. A 12-minute DVD with Vern, Governor Sebelius, Huston Smith, and local political and business leaders was produced and shown, and is available from the Council. David Nelson was the Council convener and the luncheon co-charis were Alvin Brooks, Gayle Krigel, Mahnaz Shabbir, and Chuck Stanford.
     At the Council's Second Table of Faiths Celebration, co-chaired by Mahnaz Shabbir, Sheila Sonnenschein, and Chuck Stanford, with honorary co-chairs Kay Barnes, Alvin Brooks, Ben Craig, and Peggy Dunn, and Advisor Gayle Krigel, with Co-conveners Caroline Baughman and David Nelson, awards were given to Don and Adele Hall and Ed Chasteen. A video narrated by Bill Tammeus presented the development of the Council
     The Third's Table of Faiths Celebration, chaired by Sheila Sonnenschein and Susan Cook, with honorary ch-chairs Dianne Cleaver, Mark Funkhouser, and the Rev Dr Bob Meneilly, honored Alvin Brooks and The Kansas City Star. A video, a portion of which can be seen at Sacred Art includes a look at art from many faiths and the spirtual impulse out of which all art arises.
     The Council’s statement: “We are growing a sustainable, pervasive culture of knowledge, respect, appreciation, and trust amongst people of all faiths and religious traditions in the greater Kansas City community.”
     Its goals: 
     1. To develop deeper understanding within the community of each other's faiths and traditions, and to foster appropriate interfaith dialogue and interaction, 
     2. To model spiritual and religious values, especially mutual respect and cooperation, in a society often intolerant of cultural and religious diversity, 
     3. To develop and provide resources, networking, and programs for the community through the arts and education to increase appreciation for cultural and religious diversity, 
     4. To work with educational, spiritual and religious leaders and the media in promoting accurate and fair portrayal of the faiths within our community, and 
     5. To help the community become more aware of the spiritual values that can help resolve issues that occur in the environmental, social and personal realms of our lives.
     The Council usually meets the 2nd Monday of the month.
     It offers two interfaith book clubs. David Nelson facilitates the northland book club, Vital Conversations, at the Mid-Continent Library, Antioch Branch 6060 N Chestnut in Gladstone 1p the second Wednesday of each month; 816.454.1306. Pam Peck facilitates the south club. It meets four times a year, 7p the first Monday in February, May, August, and November, at the Christian Science Center, 504 E. 112, Red Bridge Shopping Center, 111 (Red Bridge Road) and Holmes; 816.268.8212.
 

Harmony
4901 Main, Suite 300
Kansas City, MO 64112
kcharmony.org
816-333-5059
     When Harmony first debuted in Kansas City in 1988, the mission was singular--to ease racial boundaries in communities throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area. However, local leaders Emanual Cleaver II and Drue Jennings had a broader perspective; they envisioned a community-wide resource available to address all issues of diversity in the region. Under the keen vision of these leaders and other key supporters, Harmony quickly became a trusted resource offering nationally acclaimed programming, training and consulting to schools and workplaces.
     Harmony acquired the legacy of the National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) when the two organizations merged their resources in 2005. The result was a comprehensive offering of programs and consulting resources that spans a life-long learning cycle starting at the middle-school education level and reaching into adulthood.
     Harmony provides resources, programs and events including a week-long Harmony Youth Leadership Institute; Manytown and Unitown, two day programs for middle school and high school students; Campus Leadership Institute; and professional services to assist corporations, organizations and government entities with strategic planning and communication enabling a more inclusive and global enterprise.
   --Information provided by Harmony, 2008 July

     In 1988, KCMO Mayor pro-tem Emanuel Cleaver and KCPL’s president/CEO Drue Jennings led an 18-month effort to improve race relations and civic comity. Maggie Finefrock, now Director of The Learning Project and CRES CLO and was then co-director with Luther Washington. As part of the exploration of diversity, a Religions Task Force produced a covenant redrafted by Vern to be inclusive of all faiths, signed 1989 Aug 21 in Loose Park by members of 10 faiths. CRES was commissioned to prepare an account of religious diversity in the area for the Teacher/Student Study Guide.
     The cantor at Beth Shalom initiated the Harmony Choral Celebration Concert, the only known interfaith concert in the United States that features both a mass choir and demonstration choirs.
      Kansas City would not let Harmony go out of existence after 18 months, and it has become a permanent and increasingly valuable leader in educating about diversity in the metro area for business, government, the media, and congregations.
     In 1996, Cleaver, now mayor, commissioned a task force on race relations. Maggie was chair of the religion/spirituality cluster, and Vern was assigned the task of drafting its recommendation, paragraph 6 of which, inspired by John Weston, called for the creation of a Congregational Partners Program to assist congregations of different faiths to build relationships of trust. Dozens of such partnerships were developed, at first as an independent program, then for a time under Harmony auspices, including one three-way with Catholic, Muslim, and Jewish congregations. 
     The 2001 Citistates Group reported that Harmony “consistently produces the nation's most ambitious array of programs aimed at building better relations across racial lines.” That year CRES invited Harmony and NCCJ (see below) to cosponsor the area's first interfaith conference, The Gifts of Pluralism. Following the 9/11 attacks, Diane Hershberger, then  Harmony executive director, joined with others when asked by Jackson County to study the state of religious prejudice in the five county area; the Diversity Task Force, chaired by Vern, issued its report on Sep 10, 2001.
     In 2005, after excellent staff preparation by Harmony and NCCJ, Vern, on the board of NCCJ, made the historic motion for the two organizations to merge. The National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ) was begun in 1927 as the National Conference of Christians and Jews to “fight“ bigotry. Kansas City’s office began in 1953. In 1999 the name was changed to the National Conference for Community and Justice. Locally its expert summer programs for youth have included dealing with religious prejudice. For four years NCCJ and CRES staffed a day-long “Journey toward Understanding” for high school students to spent a day exploring their different faiths.  --Additional perspective from CRES
 

HateBusters, Inc.
Box 442, Liberty, MO 64069
hatebusters.com
816-792-2272
HateBuster@aol.com
     HateBusters, developed by Ed Chasteen, now CRES Amity Shaman, helps people who have been hurt because someone hated them. “We never say no when asked for help. We get more publicity for the good guys than the bad guys. We teach people how to like people who are not like them. We bring people together.” It produces the Human Family Reunion dinners.
 

The House of Menuha
801 E 77 St, KCMO 64113
menuha.org; 816.444.2434
Annie Loendorf SCL and Diane R Hershberger, co-directors
     House of Menuha was founded in 1992 as an independent non-profit corporation not affiliated with any religious or parent organization, when Annie Loendorf, a Sister of Charity of Leavenworth, realized a great need for the women in the parish she served was to have a place and the time to care for themselves that was away from the never ending demands in their lives. “Menuha” is a Hebrew word meaning to rest in purposeful contemplation. 
     Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, says that people turn to spirituality when their lives are in transition because fragility and dislocation make us more open to the wondrous power of grace moving deeply in our souls. House of Menuha is a spirituality center for women, a safe nurturing environment where women walk in their own unique mystery continuing to discover ever more deeply their piece of truth...their authenticity. Carl Jung says that a person’s vision will become clear when they look into their heart. This kind of looking needs silence, stillness, reflections and then the challenge of giving voice to what is heard and what is felt. Menuha’s mission is to provide the atmosphere, sacred space, companionship, guidance, and nourishment to look deeply into one’s soul. 
     Through weekly “Reflection” programming when women gather to learn about self-care, spirituality, or dealing with change in their lives; through workshops addressing topics of purpose and self expression; through “Villager” programming teaching women to become more self-led and less dependent on cultural values of materialism, competition and self-centeredness; and through a “Pioneer Retreat” program supporting women who live with domestic abuse, addiction or homelessness, Menuha meets women where they are in their religious and personal journeys and equips them to bring spiritual wisdom and compassion more fully into their lives and the world.
 

The Human Agenda
The Rev David E Nelson, DMin, president
humanagenda.com; 816 453 3835
     Dr Nelson has served as convener of the Interfaith Council and leads one of its interfaith book groups. His skills in teaching "Appreciative Inquiry" were evident at the 2001 "Gifts of Pluralism" conference. His "Vital Conversations" are designed for people of different faith perspectives to discuss both comfortable and difficult topics, news movies, books, personal experiences. It is designed for people committed to celebrating the possibilities of the pluralistic society in which we live. David is a gifted speaker who enjoys addressing interfaith topics.
 

Independence Ministerial Alliance
816-373-5333 -- josefwalker.com/ima/ima.htm
The Rev Pat Miller, Chair
motherpat@stmichaelschurch.org
4000 Lee's Summit Road, Independence MO 64055
 

Institute for Interfaith Dialog
interfaithdialog.org;  fozcan_55@yahoo.com
Fatih Ozcan, Kansas City Representative
9903 Pflumn Rd, Lenexa, KS 66215; 913.206.6670
     IID seeks to “unite the global communities through interfaith dialogue by sharing the differences and similarities in cultures and religions in an effort to achieve world peace.” IID is inspired by controversial Turkish figure Fetullah Gulen, who advocates a “moderate” form of Islam.
 

Institute for Spirituality in Health
Steven L Jeffers, PhD, 1948-2008, founder, 
whose loss we mourn
Shawnee Mission Medical Center
9100 W 74 Street, SM, KS 66204
shawneemission.org/content/view/94/278/
913-676-8104
     The vision of the ISH is to deliver health care within an environment that values medical skills complemented by spirituality, often expressed in the language of faith. Led by religious, medical, civic, and business leaders of various faith traditions, ISH advocates addressing spiritual care in medicine and health care.
     ISH provides community and professional education, publications and research on the topic of spirituality in the health care setting. In addition, the Institute leads interfaith prayer teams, which provide encouragement and support for SMMC associates and physicians, as well as local, state and national civic and religious leaders. Annual events such as the Community Prayer Breakfast, Physician/Clergy Conference, and symposiums on various topics allow community members to explore their spirituality and determine where it fits within their health care needs.
 

Interfaith Coalition Against Bigotry
jeverett3@mindspring.com
   An Ad Hoc organization to bring balance to the attacks on faiths by Michael Savage.
 

Interfaith of Topeka
interfaithoftopeka.org
William Gitchell, President
3015 SW Clark Ct., Topeka, KS 66604
wgitchell@cox.net, 785-554-6735
 

JCRB/AJC 
5801 W 115th Street #203 
Shawnee Mission, KS 66211 
jewishkc.org/agencies/jcrb 
913-327-8126, jcrbajc@jewsihkc.org 
     The Jewish Community Relations Bureau/American Jewish Committee fights anti-Semitism, racism, and bigotry. 
 

Mainstream Voices of Faith
mainstreamvoicesoffaith.com
mainstream@mainstreamcoalition.com
5350 West 94th Terrace Suite 103
Prairie Village, KS 66207-2520
(913) 649-3326
     MVOF is a religious coalition promotes an inclusive approach to issues of faith and public policy through education and advocacy.
 

Midwest Center for Holocaust Education
5801 W 115th Street #106
Overland Park, KS 66211
mchekc.org
913-327-8190; mcekc@org;
     The Midwest Center of Holocaust Education  teaches the history and lessons of the Holocaust to people of all races and faiths in the Midwest to prevent its recurrence and perpetuate understanding, compassion, and mutual respect.
 

National Council of Jewish Women
Greater Kansas City Section
jewishkansascity.org/ir_listing.html?id=3641
5750 W. 95th St. Suite 118
Shawnee Mission, KS 66207
913 648-0747   ncjwkc@swbell.net
Berenice Haberman, President
     NCJW works through research, education, advocacy and community service to improve the quality of life for women, children and families, and strives to ensure individual rights and freedoms for all. Its annual February luncheon has been focused on Jewish Christian Muslim exchange.
 

OpenCircle
opencircleonline.com, 816.931.0738
info@opencircleonline.com
     Among OpenCircle’s programs are occasional film showings of interfaith interest at the Tivoli Theatre.
 

Pathways
 Pathways was founded in 1999 by Gene Flanery 
(flanerman@aol.com)
     Pathways promotes interfaith dialogue, foster respect for all religions, and celebrate diversity. Its members include the Hindu, Christian, Sikh, and American Indian traditions. Monthly meetings are held at the Cross Point Church in Shawnee, KS. While there is no official membership in Pathways, participants strive to achieve balance between the various participating faiths. Each year the group presents both an annual interfaith picnic in the summer and an annual dinner in January.
     Pathways Goals: To learn to listen with respect to those who are different *To promote racial harmony and fight against negative stereotyping in society *To provide a receptive place to speak about faith in God *To foster an attitude of respect for all religions *To educate others about the benefits of a multicultural perspective *To celebrate diversity in culture and appreciate religious differences.
 

Person to Person
communitypeace.com/id15.htm
     Mahnaz Shabbir and Sheila Sonnenschein offer a powerful presentation as Muslim and Jewish leaders and mothers about their friendship and learning about each other’s faith.
 

Raytown Community Interfaith Alliance
(816) 353-1708  -- http://rcifa.org/
The Rev Joseph Weaks, chair
joe@raytowncc.org
c/o Raytown Christian Church, 
6108 Blue Ridge Blvd., Raytown, MO 64133 
 

Salaam Shalom Celebration
salaamshalomcelebration.org
     The annual KC area dinner originated as a twin to a gathering, or hafla, in Israel begun by Fouad Salman, Samir Dabit, and David Leichman  in an effort to bring together Jews and Arabs. Fouad, Samir, and David come here and cook an amazing feast (with dietary laws observed). A clergy breakfast is also held.  Both the first dinner in 2004 and the second attracted 500 guests at Leawood’s Ironwoods Park Alpine Lodge. The next is planned in KCMO.
 

Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition
Jerry Rees, 913-568-4250
Margaret Thomas, mgt84roe@aol.com
sustainablesanctuary.org
     The mission of the Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition is to encourage sustainable living initiatives, i.e., ""Care for Creation"  in faith communities,  through education about and promotion of sustainable actions.
    We live in a time where there is denial of the global climate change that is fueled by humankind’s ever growing demands upon our Earth. The Sustainable Sanctuary Coalition does not accept as inevitable these wasteful ways continuing to cause ecological disasters to happen all around us. We also believe that if we are to change our collective behavior, we need to accept an accurate and positive vision of everyone's reality.
    This vision of reality celebrates all humankind as the stewards of this diversity of life on Earth and supporters of the natural systems on which all life depends. We believe that to cherish what has been created is our spiritual and moral responsibility – our ultimate responsibility to all children and all grandchildren.
    We believe what we can do here and now is to build a coalition of faith communities that rapidly begin to reflect on what humankind is doing. We will gather, share, and urge others to join us in the same spirit that embraces change so stewardship and earthkeeping will soon become the sacred responsibilities for all.
 

The Urantia Book Fellowship
Susan Cook, 816-716-4944;  solonia@juno.com
415 Shannon Avenue, Smithville, MO  64089
     The Urantia Fellowship sponsors an on-line class in Interfaith dialogue. The intent of this course is learning to listen and exchange in healthy dialogue with people of other faiths and cultures. This course is 8 weeks long and involves reading before each “class.” We then meet via conference call to discuss learning opportunities, growth, difficulty, and ideas for further development. This course is in process and involves students from New York to Hawaii. Please contact us if you are interested in this course for 2007.
     Coming up is an on-line course, “You want to learn about Different Religions?” This course will have different facilitators each week that represent their faith. A reading will be sent out the week before each conference call where we’ll then have the opportunity to be taught and ask questions. Why a conference call? So people and facilitators from different cities can come together. Please call for questions about enrollment in 2007.