revised.07.01.30 --  Please reload/refresh....On the web since.1997. Speak

click for information about these symbols of world religions and liberation movements

CRES draws upon the world's religious traditions,
ancient and modern, and upon contemporary liberation movements.

This multifaith emphasis respects the perspectives of both doubter and believer.
In that context, we offer these and other services.
Sample program descriptions.


  • Classroom presentations
  • Counseling
  • Conference and retreat planning and leadership
  • Credit classes and non-credit instruction
  • Articles and reviews for various publications
  • Individual religious instruction (IRI) and spiritual direction
  • Worship leadership, preaching, and speaking
  • NO LONGER AVAILABLE (click retirement)
    • Free Museum tours 
    • Free monthly bulletin, Many Paths
    • Special programs announced in Many Paths and on our web site
    • Free referrals & information reference assistance
    • Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Sunday Family Ritual Meal (now sponsored by others)

Arranging Vern or Others 
to Speak to Your Group

. Vern

1. Please write us for calendar openings.  This information is helpful:
     a. the topic you would like Vern to address or role to play (ie, moderate an interfaith panel on peace-making)
     b. the number and nature of your group (ie, young adults, business roundtable, clergy, TV taping, etc) 
     c. the date, time, and place and contact phones and email information
     d. room and facility set-up (fixed or flexible seating, microphones, etc)  that you normally employ or can make available -- Vern prefers to avoid microphones if the room and audience permit.

2. Vern does not drive. If your venue is off the bus route (or the weather is likely to be bad, heavy materials are required, or the route includes lengthy transfer stops), please specify a complete transportation plan from Westport to your site and back to Westport, near the Westport Library, two blocks west of Main (two bkocks east of Broadway). 

3. Please consult the fee chart in the gray column to the right and indicate how your group will compensate CRES. Requests for waivers will be considered by the CRES board.

4.  For photos and biographical sketches of Vern, visit


Other Speakers

     For how to design a world religions series, visit

    For speakers from various faiths, visit

     To access the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, visit  and its Speakers Bureau

     To learn about various interfaith groups in Kansas City, visit

    For an overview of world religions, including those in Kansas City, visit

    For assistance, visit




In some situations, non-profit groups may request reduced rates or waiver, but the CRES Board generally discourages such requests. All fees and honoraria are payable to "CRES."

Please also see note below.

a. Nelson-Atkins Museum tour
free to CRES supporters

b. article or book review as arranged

c. consultation $125 non-profits, $225 businesses

d. tutoring $75/hr

e. wedding $95-950; 
see wedding  fees

f. funeral or memorial service, $400; with consultation and committal $500

g. public prayer $100

h. sermon or address $400

i. classroom lecture, small group, or short conference workshop $275 

j. short day retreat or conference $550

k. full day retreat or conference $750 

l. long day retreat or conference $950


My Board is interested in what they regard as a fair use of my time, so the fee schedule has been established and posted above.

As noted above, certain non-profit groups may request reduced rates or waiver, but the CRES Board generally discourages such requests. All fees and honoraria are payable to "CRES."

 I am a full-time volunteer for CRES and responsible to the CRES  board for presenting financial decisions with every effort to accommodate the requests we receive. I do hope those requesting these services understand why some invitations must be declined. 

Vern Barnet

Sample  Program Descriptions -- Under Construction
      The instructor is the Rev Vern Barnet, DMn, known to many in Kansas City through his Wednesday "Faiths and Beliefs" column in The Kansas City Star, 1994-2012. He founded the KC Interfaith Council in 1989 and does interfaith work through his organization, CRES. 
     He has taught world religions at Ottawa University, Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Saint Paul School of Theology, Avilia University, and elsewhere. 
     He is a frequent lecturer in area churches and has received honors from Jewish, Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and civic organizations.
     With three others, he wrote and edited The Essential Guide to Religious Traditions and Spirituality for Health Care Providers, published by Radcliffe in 2013.
World Religions Series (5 parts)

"He who knows one religion knows none," it has been said. So to better understand our own faith journey, we examine the world's religions as they ask and answer the key question, "What gives meaning to your life?" By comparing and contrasting the various traditions, our own paths may be deepened and enriched.

1: Pieces or Pattern? -- Three Sacred Dimensions
     The confusing details of the world's faiths can fit into a rough and ready scheme which suggests wisdom for our environmental, personal, and social troubles. By asking of each faith, "Where do you go to find ultimate meaning?" we may find a pattern helpful for our own lives.

2 Primal Faiths -- The Sacred in Nature
    Ancient and still-living traditions have honored and ceremonialized the  world in which humans participate, rather than seeking to change it. From ancient Egyptians to American Indians, meaning emerges from the order in nature.

3 Asian Faiths -- The Sacred in Personhood
    The great religions of India and China, with techniques such as yoga and meditation, delved deeply into personal spiritual development. Hinduism,  Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism present "therapies" to recover from the trance of selfishness.

4 Monotheistic Faiths -- The Sacred in Community
     The Abrahamic faiths of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (and other monotheistic religions) find revealed in the history of covenanted community a power moving toward justice. This involves a critical view of society and a duty to improve it.

5 Comparative Methods and Questions -- The Sacred in Mutual Encounter
     What effects can mutual encounter among the faiths have on each of them? What various attitudes do folks bring to religions other than their own? And how can we as individuals and a community apply the wisdom of the various faiths to solve the problems that afflict our age?

Lectures on Individual Religions

a. Hinduism.-- Hindu terms like yoga, reincarnation, and karma are now popular in the West, but what have they meant in the long and varied history of India? Was Hinduism "invented" by the British? How did the ancient tradition change from being a "nature" religion to become a "psychological" faith? How did their faith shape Gandhi and other modern Hindu leaders? This interactive lecture deals with the history, art, scripture, theologies, and modern character of the world's third largest faith.

Faith Figures Series  (4 parts)

This survey of Muslim, Buddhist, Confucian, and Sikh figures presents their lives and insights for their times and ours. They are not dusty figures in history but speak to us today about the issues that perplex us.

1. Muhammad: Why He is Loved. How do we align ourselves with a power moving in history toward justice? -- In the life of Muhammad is the discovery of a transcendent Power which makes society work. 

2. The Buddha: The Guy Who Woke Up. Why is there suffering and what can be done about it? -- In the life of the Buddha there is compassion and the wisdom to free ourselves from the trance that keeps us from seeing reality as it is. 

3. Confucius: Say What? How can society be ordered for peace and prosperity? -- In the life of Confucius the argument between the Legalists and the Idealists found resolution.

4. Guru Nanak: An Accountant's Truth. Do the differences in religion really matter? In the life of the first Sikh Guru mysticism and monotheism were joined.

Exploring Spirituality

Spirituality arises from experiences of the Holy as we seek to understand, honor and  share them. This class includes readings from many sources and practical exercises for learning.

Week 1: What is spirituality? Learn how and why others have answered and develop your own response.

Week 2: What is the holy and how do I find it? Bring a “sacred” object to class, an object that has special significance to your personally because it reminds you of an important occasion, power, connection, relationship, peak experience or way of understanding.

Week 3: Looking for the holy: What is a pilgrimage? What is a ritual? Bring to class a chart, map, or diagram of your life’s spiritual journey. What are the steppingstones and the milestones? The guideposts? The crucial crossings, the detours, the retracings? The heights and depths? In what directions have you aimed?

Week 4: Talking about the holy: How do stories and scriptures reveal their messages? Prepare to tell the class a story that reveals a spiritual meaning for you (Cinderella, the Tortoise and the Hare, Davey Crockett, Oedipus Rex, Star Wars, the Prodigal Son, Spider Woman, Hercules, etc).

Week 5: Understanding the unholy: What is the source of evil? Why is there so much suffering? What does death mean? Describe the greatest evil, injustice or suffering you know about personally.

Week 6: What is the nature of holy love? What is the spiritual dimension of sexuality? Write a personal ad to attract or keep your ideal mate.

Week 7: What is the nature of God or the gods, if any? How do we know? What is our life purpose? What is the destiny of the human race? Prepare your obituary or write your funeral or memorial service.