The Cabinet is the public voice for Interfaith Partnership/Faith Beyond Walls on matters of religious, moral and ethical conscience. Membership of the Cabinet includes the highest ranking leaders of faith groups or other representative, as appointed. The Cabinet is a unique body that brings together high-ranking leaders in diverse faith groups in order to provide a timely voice on public issues from the religious community in the metropolitan St. Louis area.
You can read some of the Cabinet’s past statements here.
Archbishop Robert J. Carlson, Roman Catholicism
Chair of the Cabinet 2013-2014
Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson is a Catholic Archbishop who was installed as Archbishop of St. Louis on June 10, 2009 after being appointed by Pope Benedict XVI on April 21, 2009. He served his native Archdiocese of St. Paul- Minneapolis for 24 years as a priest and auxiliary bishop, followed by 10 years as Bishop of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and 4 years as Bishop of Saginaw, Michigan. Archbishop Carlson’s passion for vocations, youth ministry and priestly formation have contributed to the growth and vitality of all the Dioceses he has served. It has also involved him on numerous committees of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. He has been a popular Retreat Master for bishops and priests, as well as a popular speaker at national conferences. Archbishop Carlson received the Interfaith Partnership Award in September 2011.
Rev. C. Jessel Strong, The African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME)
Vice Chair of the Cabinet 2013-2014
Rev. C. Jessel Strong joined the Cabinet in 2012 to represent the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and soon was elected as the Vice Chair for 2013-2014. He is the president of the Clergy Coalition of Greater St. Louis.
Batya Abramson-Goldstein, Judaism
Batya Abramson-Goldstein is the Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis and in 2012 was honored by Interfaith Partnership for her outstanding service to IP and the interfaith community of St. Louis. She is a former Chair of the Cabinet.
Mufti Asif Umar, Islam (Sunni)
Mufti Asif Umar has been the Imam and Religious Director at the Islamic Foundation of Greater St. Louis and the Daar-ul-Islam mosque in West St. Louis County since early 2012.
Bahar Bastani, M.D., Islam (Shia)
Dr. Bastani is a Professor of Medicine – Nephrology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He completed his Medical school and residency training in Internal Medicine at Shiraz University, Iran in 1980. He immigrated to USA in 1984, did fellowship in Nephrology at University of Virginia, Charlottesville; Senior and Chief Residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital – University of Wisconsin; and Research Fellowship at Washington University, Saint Louis MO. He has published more than 190 scientific medical manuscripts and book chapters. His book 99 Pearls of Wisdom was published in March 2010. Dr. Bastani represents Shia Islamic Education Center in Saint Louis. He is also in the board of directors of Iranian-American Cultural Society of Mid-West and Muslim Community of Saint Louis. He is Vice President of Islamic Medical Association of North America – Saint Louis Chapter.
Swami Chetanananda, The Vedanta Society
Swami Chetanananda is a monk of the Ramakrishna Order. Before coming to the United States, he worked in the editorial and publication departments of Advaita Ashrama, Mayavati, Himalayas and also at its Calcutta branch. He was an assistant minister of the Vedanta Society of Southern California from 1971 to 1978. He came to St. Louis in March, 1978 and at present is the minister of the Vedanta Society of St. Louis. Swami Chetanananda has written, edited, and translated many important books on Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, and Vedanta.
Jean Gilbert, Church Women United
Cynthia S. Holmes, The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Cynthia Holmes has served on the National Boards of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Baptist Joint Committee For Religious Liberty, the Washington, D.C. agency supported by fifteen Baptist denominations and organizations. She served as Moderator of Missouri and national Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, as past co-chair of the Cabinet of the Interfaith Partnership, as a Trustee of Missouri Baptist University, is a Board member of the Missouri Baptist Foundation and Overland Baptist Church deacon, has testified on Church State issues before Missouri Legislative committees and presented programs for the Jewish Community Relations Council, Anti-Defamation League, NCJW, Cooperating School Districts and on KWMU radio and Fox 2, television. Cynthia served on the Board of Governors of St. Louis Bar Association, chairing BAMSL’s Bench Bar Conference, Speaker’s Bureau and Trial Practice Institute, and as board member of the St. Louis Bar Foundation.
Kate Lovelady, Ethical Humanism
Kate Lovelady is the Leader at the Ethical Society of St. Louis
Bishop Gerald Mansholt, The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (Represented by Rev. Roy Moore, Jr.)
Rev. Dr. Gerald L. Mansholt is the Bishop of the Central States Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, serving his second 6-year term as their elected leader. Born in Alton, Ill. on July 6, 1948, Mansholt grew up in Bunker Hill, Ill., and graduated from Concordia Senior College of Fort Wayne, Ind. in 1970 and from Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, Mo., where he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1974. He received his Doctor of Ministry from Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago in 1989.
Mr. MK Sateesha, Hinduism
Mr. Sateesha is a member of the Hindu Temple of St. Louis in Ballwin, Missouri.
Rev. Craig Palmer, The Presbyterian Church (USA)
Rev. Craig Palmer is the Interim Executive Presbyter at the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy. He was ordained and installed April 10, 1983 as pastor of Union Park Presbyterian Church, Des Moines, Iowa where he served thirteen years. He served interims as pastor and associate pastor in congregations in both Florida and Iowa. More rescently he served as Interim Executive Presbyter in the presbyteries of Heartland [2004-2006] and San Francisco [2006-2010].
Rev. Thomas Perchlik, Unitarian Universalism
Rev. Thomas Perchlik is the Minister of the First Unitarian Church of St Louis. Born and raised in Greeley, Colorado, he graduated from Iliff School of Theology in 1990 and has served Unitarian Universalist Congregations in Wyoming, Texas and Indiana before coming to St. Louis. Rev. Perchlik has been part of interfaith dialogue and action for over thirty years.
Rev. Rudy Pulido, The Baptist General Convention of Missouri
Rev. Dr. Rudy Pulido served for thirty years as the senior pastor of the Southwest Baptist Church of St. Louis. He has served on ecclesiastical and community boards that include Board of Community Advisors, Missouri Baptist Medical Center, trustee Missouri Baptist University, Board of Advisors South City and South County YMCA, served on United Way allocation panel, President of the St. Louis Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the Watson Business Association Council. Dr. Pulido now serves as on the National Advisory Council of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, Baptist General Convention of Missouri Board of Trustees, Jobs with Justice Workers Rights Board, board member St. Louis Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State and the NCJW/Lydia’s House micro-financing advisory board.
President Paul F. Hintze, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
A Physician in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology who works in administration at Mercy Hospital St. Louis, Dr. Hintze is a Stake President in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he is responsible for 11 congregations. He and his wife have eight children and have been married for 40 years.
Rabbi Brigitte Rosenberg, Judiasm
Rabbi Brigitte Rosenberg has served United Hebrew since 2004 and became Senior Rabbi on July 1, 2011. She received her BA in Religion and Culture from Boston University and her M.A.H.L and rabbinical ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (Cincinnati, OH) in 2001. She is the president of the St. Louis Rabbinical Association.
Rev. Dr. Penny Ross-Corona, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Rev. Dr. Penny Ross-Corona is the Southeast Gateway Area Minister for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). She earned the M.Div. from Phillips Graduate Seminary and was ordained by the Tennessee Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1985. In 2000, she received the D. Min. from Perkins Seminary of Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas. Her doctoral project developed a study course, which approached the generations of Jacob’s family (in Genesis) and family systems theory, in order to teach conflict management skills to congregational leaders.
Rev. Sherrie M. Saunders, The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Zion Church
Rev. Sherrie Saunders is a minister at Washington Metropolitan AME Zion Church in St. Louis city.
Bishop Robert Schnase, The United Methodist Church (Represented by Dr. Carl Schenck)
Robert Schnase serves as Bishop in Residence of the Missouri Area of The United Methodist Church. He was elected to the Episcopacy by the South Central Jurisdiction in July 2004, and assigned to the Missouri Area beginning September 2004. The Missouri Conference includes nearly 900 congregations with 175,000 members, offering ministry through local churches, colleges, campus ministries, social services and mission projects throughout the world. Bishop Schnase was ordained Deacon in 1981 and Elder in 1986 in the Southwest Texas Conference. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a master’s degree in theology, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in psychology. He has also studied Spanish for several summers in Central America.
Rev. E. G. Shields, Sr., Missionary Baptist Churches
Rev. Shields has served for 40 years as pastor of Mount Beulah Missionary Baptist Church in Hanley Hills.
Bishop G. Wayne Smith, The Episcopal Church in the USA
Rt. Rev. Paul A. Stewart, Jr., The Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (Represented by Rev. Quenton H. Whitlock, Jr)
Maryl Walters, CSB, Christian Science
Maryl served as Chair of the Cabinet 2011-2012. She has been a Christian Science healer for many years and is also a teacher of Christian Science and member of The Christian Science Board of Lectureship who presents talks and workshops across North America. She is also on the Interfaith Relations Commission of the National Council of Churches and is a student at Eden Theological Seminary. She and her husband live in Kirkwood and have 3 adult sons.
Vera Wetteroff, Community of Christ (Rep. by James Drury)
Rev. Jeffrey Whitman, United Church of Christ
Leigh Hunt Greenhaw, Board President, United Church of Christ
Howard Nelson, Secretary to the Cabinet, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints