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October 12, 2014

Held annually every October

How does your faith inspire you
to treat the stranger?

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee is partnering with the Brookfield Elm Grove Interfaith Network (BEGIN) to offer an exceptional program on Sunday afternoon, January 25, on "How does your faith inspire you to treat the stranger?"

We expect to have presentations of four to five minutes each from representatives of several faith traditions, including: Baha'i, Buddhism, Evangelical Christian, Islam, Islamic Sufism, Judaism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), Sikhism, Unitarian Universalism and Zoroastrianism. Then people will break into small groups for lively discussion.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will run from 2 to 4:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church West, 13001 W. North Ave., Brookfield. It will include light refreshments. Reservations are not necessary.

For more information, call the Interfaith Conference office at 414-276-9050.

More than 250 people of many faiths
have vibrant small-group dial
at 2014 Annual Luncheon

The more than 250 people of many faiths, ethnicities and cultures who came to the Italian Community Center for the Interfaith Conference's 44th annual luncheon on December 4 were much more than "attendees." They were fully engaged "participants" as they shared personal stories of their lived experiences of faith or philosophy at each table.

This was a remarkable luncheon, one that reached beyond staid, conventional program models.

Instead of having a keynote speaker, we had people get a taste of our highly successful Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue Program by having a half hour of moderated discussions at each table using an appreciative listening process that evokes deep sharing.

Instead of having faith groups and organizations purchase tables and sit with their own people, we dispersed people throughout the ballroom to achieve diversity at every table. People truly had personal, interfaith experiences that bridged differences and fostered understanding and friendship.

Dr. Rob Shelledy, Interfaith Conference Cabinet chair and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's Social Justice Ministry Coordinator, was the emcee. Tonen O'Connor, resident priest emerita of the Milwaukee Zen Center, opened the luncheon with this reflection:

"I'm most appreciative of this opportunity to offer a reflection as the invocation before today's luncheon, and of course the first thing we should share is our gratitude for the food we are about to eat, and our thanks to all those who had a hand in its journey to our table. Food has deep spiritual meaning within all faith traditions, and it is in this spirit that we offer our thanks.

"We gather together today as people of faith with trust that the deep divisions in our society can be healed. Within Buddhism there is an understanding that self and other are in truth, one being, inextricably interrelated, and that all beings are equal participants in this universe. This is what I ask you to consider today. Let us pledge to eliminate those deeply divisive words, "us" and "them" and replace them with "we," and thus take a small step forward toward an end to racial disparity, racial distrust, religious conflict, riots, poverty and the death of children.

"May the word "we" rise in our hearts so that we will look upon others and see ourselves. Recently in Istanbul, Pope Francis prayed that we may "overcome misunderstandings, divisions and disagreements and be a credible sign of unity and peace." The important word here is "credible." Lip service is not enough.

Please join me in a moment of silence within which we consecrate this meal to our determination to step past divisions and bring into being a credible "we.".........................................................................Thank you.

We also gave awards to two exceptional individuals and two highly commedable organizations.


Frank Zeidler Award

Rabbi Ronald Shapiro
For his leadership in social justice and interfaith relations, from his time as a rabbinical student and summer urban intern working with Fr. James Groppi’s National Welfare Rights Organization to his service as senior rabbi of Congregation Shalom over the past 36 years.

Rev. Herbert Huebschmann Urban Ministry Award
CORE/El Centro
For providing natural healing therapies that transform the body, mind and spirit of people who could not otherwise afford these services, while forming community and breaking down barriers of social isolation and ethnic, racial and cultural separation.

Mark Rohlfing Memorial Award
Debbie Karow
For her outstanding service as a teacher who advocates for and exemplifies commitment to providing special education students in the Milwaukee Public Schools with an education that will afford a future for them within a society that does not always accept their challenges.

Youth/Young Adult Leadership Award
Marquette University Campus Ministry’s “Midnight Run”

For this student-led initiative’s 26 years of service to the hungry and homeless in Milwaukee through advocacy, awareness building and weekly volunteering by more than 150 students
at 12 meal programs and shelters throughout the area.

Download Flyer or Download Application or Email for Information

Prayer Service for Peace in the Middle East

(For news coverage of the prayer service, see: In the Media)

With conflict escalating in the Middle East, local religious leaders and adherents gathered for an interfaith Prayer Service for Peace in the Middle East at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, in All Saints’ Cathedral, Milwaukee.

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee organized the service to unite people of many different faiths and denominations in the vision of a world where peace is possible and violence is not inevitable.

In every age and every hour, there are opportunities for diplomacy to defuse conflict, for wisdom to temper anger, for forgiveness to forestall vengeance and for faith to foster what is highest and best in the human spirit. Local leaders offered prayers and stood together, unified in their diversity, as an example of what is possible.

The service concluded with the singing of Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us Peace), in Latin, Hebrew and Arabic.

Upcoming Events

Faith & Ecology:
A Conversation

Every 3rd Tuesday

Jan 20th, 7:00-8:30pm

This month's topic:
Water Words

Free & open to the public!
Urban Ecology Center, Riverside

For more information,
email Kirsten Shead

This series invites persons of all faiths and spiritualities to gather
to reflect upon and converse about
a chosen word for the month.

We will have topics that respond
to seasonal/calendar events to
draw us all into reflection and conversation on how faith and spirituality intersect with our
lives and the natural world.

Please note that sometimes the
third Tuesday falls on a day that
has special significance to a particular faith tradition.
We mean no harm but have a commitment for that time slot.

more information

The Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue Project

8-12 people of any faith or spiritual background, or none at all, share a meal in an intimate space and discuss their beliefs and experiences in a moderated format that makes them feel safe and welcome.

For more information see the Amazing Faiths Page or call
(414) 276-9050

Also, check out Amazing Faiths on Facebook!

Contact Us

Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
5409 W. Vliet St.
Milwaukee WI 53208

(414) 276-9050
Fax (414) 258-9030

Email Us:

Amazing Faiths Dinners:

Interfaith Earth Network:

CROP Hunger Walk:

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