Greetings! May 2013 be rich with blessings for each of you, our members and friends.
The last few weeks have showcased the vitality of St. Louis’ interfaith community. First, and most sadly, the St. Louis interfaith community responded to the shootings in Newtown with a prayer service to offer prayers for victims in Newtown, and those who have been victims of gun violence here in St. Louis. Then, on December 25th, the Jewish and Muslim Day of Service shined as a celebration of service; Ghazala Hayat wrote an article of hope for the Post-Dispatch about this event, which was a collaboration of the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and the Jewish Community Relations Council and its Milford and Lee Bohm Social Justice Center. Then we were delighted to learn of the expansion of the Salam Free Clinic, one of the agencies we showcased at our Annual Dinner & Celebration; with a new partnership, they are opening a second location, also featured in the PD.
In 2012, Interfaith Partnership…
- Co-sponsored the Second Annual 9/11 Interfaith Memorial in Music, which filled The Sheldon Concert Hall, with Arts & Faith St. Louis
- Invited the 125,000 guests of the Festival of Nations into our Religions of the World tent, to showcase the many faces of faith in the St. Louis area
- Showcased the many ways that faith-based groups serve the wider St. Louis community, and welcomed new friends by widening the invitation to our Annual Dinner, where we raised over $25,000 to support our mission
- Began developing our web presence at www.interfaithstl.org as a portal of information for the wider interfaith community
- Issued a statement to the press condemning violence against persons of faith, in response to an attack on the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI, and the burning of the Islamic Center in Joplin, MO
- Welcomed members and friends to monthly events as diverse as panel discussions, Zen meditation, and a tour of the Living Insights Center
The year 2013 promises to continue our growth. We’re looking forward to these events and many more:
- The 30th Annual Aquinas Lecture will be held on Sunday, January 27th, at 3pm in the St. Francis Xavier Church Ballroom on the Saint Louis University campus (Grand and Lindell). The Lecture “Toward the True and Holy: Catholic Engagement with Islam Today” will be presented by Dr. Sandra Keating of Providence College in Rhode Island. Dr. Ghazala Hayat, professor at Saint Louis University’s Medical School, will give a Muslim response. See calendar entry for more details.
- “Sacred Sounds: Singing Bowls Meditation” presented by Jack Sisk at the Living Insights Center, 6361 Clayton Road, on Monday, February 18th, at 7pm. Since space is limited, please RSVP to Leslie@interfaithstl.org. See calendar entry for more details.
- Tim Townsend, religion writer for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will speak on Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30pm in the chapel at Eden Seminary. See calendar entry for more details.
- 53rd meeting of St. Louis’ Dialogue Group of the World’s Religions and Philosophies will be held on Wednesday, April 10th, from 7pm to 9pm in the Wool Ballroom of the Busch Student Center at Saint Louis University. Representatives of different religions will discuss their views of God. See calendar entry for more details.
Additionally, I am very pleased to have accepted the position of Director. I am truly grateful to be here in service to the interfaith community and look forward to another year of agreeing to differ, promising to love, and uniting to serve.