revised 04.01.30 Kansas City Interfaith Council
hosted by CRES: promoting understanding among peoples of all faiths

to address the three great crises of secularism:
Environmental destruction Personal misdirection Social fragmentation
Each task force has its own page. Navigate using the buttons below.

  Research program overview Charter


    Environmental destruction: pollution (toxic wastes, as from the auto), overpopulation and loss of diversity of species; deforestation and global warming.

    Personal misdirection: addiction (substances, consumerism, power), dependencies (handling others' feelings), prejudice ( sexism, racism, classism, homophobia), loss of a sense of

    Social fragmentation: violence (in movies, video games, real life "solutions" to problems), exploitation (disparity between rich and poor), disengaged citizenry  (private over common
    weal), using religion for political or partisan purposes


The Kansas City Interfaith Council is moving forward from the unanimously adopted concluding Declaration at Kansas City's first interfaith conference to address the fragmentation of our society in an even more powerful way. A 2002 May 16 training session amplified what we learned at the conference. Thanks to David Nelson, who led the "appreciative inquiry" sessions at the Conference, for leading the training session, and whose continuing guidance we appreciate.

The Council has formed three task forces with a member of each faith tradition.  The assignment for the task forces is to expand upon the three areas identified in the Declaration (environmental, personal, social).  This might mean an enlarged paragraph or even an essay to amplify the original paragraph. It might be identifying scripture or statements from each tradition that illumines the wisdom we can bring to the larger community. Perhaps a bibliography would be helpful. The background materials which provide the context for this effort are listed below.

Since this has never been done before anywhere -- as far as I know, we are breaking new ground with this process -- we do not know how many times the task forces will need to meet. We are working to take the next step in addressing the three great crises with the wisdom of the world's faiths at the second Interfaith Conference, October 2004

Here are links for background material:
   The full Declaration text
   The Three Crises of Secularism:
   David Nelson's suggested process:
   Interfaith Council membership:

There are at least three outcomes we can expect from this process:
   1. We will be able to speak from the wisdom of our many faith traditions to the problems we face -- toxic wastes, racism, violence, and the full range of issues our conference identified, and offer instead healing paths for the future. With our diverse voices united, we will be able to uplift sacred values as never before for the benefit of the entire community.
   2. We will become a model community where interfaith relationships are honored as a way of deepening one's own tradition and spirituality.
   3. We will be ready for an even more effective Interfaith Conference reaching more widely and deeply into the community.

Thanks for being a part of this movement toward understanding among peoples of all faiths!

Vern Barnet
March 18, 2003
“The Gifts of Pluralism Ongoing Work”
Here in Kansas City interfaith relationship shall be honored as a way of deepening one’s own tradition and spirituality, and the wisdom of many religions shall help to successfully address the environmental, personal, and social crises of our often fragmented world.
Gathering Conversation:Name, faith community, a word about peace –

Introduction of Dan Johnson

Wisdom of traditions vs. Social or political action

Evolutionary Progression
Complete > Successful > Significant

Appreciative Inquiry Interviews:Select a partner from a different Task Force, a person you do not know well.

The Three Questions:

  1. Tell me about your Task Force. What is the work that has excited you most so far? Why did you choose this Task Force? What is the unique wisdom your faith tradition brings to this arena?  
  1. Without being modest, tell me what you most value about yourself as a person of faith. What do you value most about your faith group? 
  1. It is November 2004 and the "Gifts of Pluralism Conference II" is now complete. Your Task Force has been significant in shaping the event. Write the headline and the first paragraph that will be included in the Kansas City Star, which reflects the work of your group.

Task Force Group Work

ØReview the work so far.What has made it significant?As we continue our work, how can we make it even better?

ØBegin with the end in mind > What will happen because of our Task Force work at the October 2004 Event?List key outcomes and changes in attitudes and actions we envision.

ØSet a timetable for meetings and activities that will enable this to happen.

ØList the meeting times and places for the next 6 months.

ØWrite these three items on newsprint to share with total group.

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