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Held annually every October
Interfaith Statement on
The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee strongly condemns the reported attack this week on a Muslim woman who was walking home from the Islamic Society of Milwaukee’s mosque at S. 13th St. and W. Layton Ave. after early morning prayers. This assault should be vigorously investigated as a hate crime.
Moreover, this is a moment when people throughout our entire metropolitan area should speak out publicly and privately to make it clear that they stand opposed to all words and deeds of hate and violence against any faith. Disrespectful comments pave the way for hate. Small acts of intolerance may lead to more serious ones and ultimately to violence.
While one individual’s heinous act does not define a society, the failure to condemn and oppose bigotry and hate based upon religious differences can. The Conference urges our community to stand for the right of every human being to worship as he or she sees fit without fear of discrimination, hate or violence.
For 47 years, the Interfaith Conference – whose member faiths and denominations now reach across southern and southeastern Wisconsin – has upheld the sacred dignity of every person while opposing hate in all of its forms. We have increasingly presented programs to counter misinformation while providing opportunities for the most effective antidote to hate and intolerance – personal interaction and sharing across religious, racial and cultural lines.
Issued by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee Executive Committee on behalf of the Interfaith Cabinet (our board of directors).
THERE IS STILL TIME TO REGISTER -- ACT QUICKLY!
People of Faith United for Justice
2017 Advocacy Day at the Capitol
Tuesday, April 4
First United Methodist Church
The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee partners with the Wisconsin Council of Churches and several other organizations to hold an advocacy day in Madison during biennial state budget deliberations. As people of faith, we are called to join the public conversation about the common good - about the kind of a state and nation we can be justifiably proud of, the legacy we want to leave our children and future generations. Past generations of citizens, through government, made the decisions and investments that benefit us today. Now it is our turn.
People of Faith United for Justice is a day-long gathering to learn, discuss, pray and advocate together for social justice issues of importance to all the people of Wisconsin. As a new legislature starts work on the next state budget, our representatives need to hear our values, priorities, and concerns, our expectations and aspirations. Whether we expect them to agree with us or not, they need to hear from us. Together, we can ensure that our commitment to compassion and justice is reflected in that budget.
There will be briefing sessions on these issues during the day as well as opportunities for training for effective engagement with legislators in the afternoon visits at the Capitol. We hope that Advocacy Day will inspire and equip you for effective advocacy throughout the year.
Issues to be addressed:
The keynote speaker with be the Bishop Steven A. Miller from the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee
FOR MORE INFORMATION AND REGISTRATION: Click on ADVOCACY DAY
2 to 5 p.m. -- this Sunday, March 19
There will be live music by David HB Drake,
We are calling it Renewing Hope
The schedule includes:
2:30 p.m. -- Celebration ceremony
For workshop times, see: Earth Network
For more information, call 414-276-9050 or 414-758-8985.
This celebration is being done in partnership with
We need your participation. Register now!
Dear Interfaith and Tuesdays-in-March Friends:
You can come early and talk about the news of the day with your friends, then then get enlightened and cast an encouraging light of your own by your presence.
Register by phone now at 414-276-9050 or 414-758-8985. Or, register online (see below)
4 TUESDAYS IN MARCH
- A Luncheon / Lecture Series -
Sponsored by the
March 7, 14, 21, 28, 2017
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee – a Unitarian Universalist Congregation
$55.00 - series of four
March 7, 2017 ---- ‘Running Rebels,’ Dawn Barnett, Co-Executive Director of Running Rebels Community Organization, and youth participants
March 14, 2017 -- ‘Teens Grow Greens,’ Charlie Uihlein, founder of Teens Grow Greens, and Ryan Graham, scholarship recipient, education coordinator
March 21, 2017 --- ‘ACLU of Wisconsin,’ Solana Patterson-Ramos, Youth and Programs Organizer at the ACLU of Wisconsin, and youth participants
March 28, 2017 --- ‘Service Learning, “Let’s Do It Again,” “We All Benefit”,' Sarah Kubetz, Community Service/Service Learning Mentor, MPS, and youth participants
REGISTER BY Friday afternoon, March 10
Interfaith Statement on Hate
Diverse leaders of good will and strong faith must stand side by side to oppose a shadowy rise of what must be termed evil. Hate and intolerance are rearing up like emboldened specters, threatening both our core, shared values and the well-being
The leaders of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee strongly condemn the recent series of bomb threats and other anti-Semitic acts that have besieged Jewish community centers and schools here and across the country.
With equal vigor, we abhor similar hate acts directed against Muslims and others who are seen as “different.” The gunshots from a hate-driven assailant who slayed six Sikhs at a temple in Oak Creek nearly five years ago still echo in our collective consciousness. Images from a mass shooting of African Americans two years ago at a church in Charleston, S.C., remain vivid.
These happenings are warnings of what already exists. And they are compelling calls to step up, stand up, and live up to the teachings of our faiths and to the ideals that are essential to a free and stable democratic society.
For 47 years, the Interfaith Conference – whose member faiths and denominations now reach across southern and southeastern Wisconsin – has upheld the sacred dignity of every person. We call upon people of all faiths and philosophies to stand even taller with us now.
Interfaith Statement on Refugees
The Executive Committee of the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee issued the following statement on behalf of our Cabinet (board of directors):
For almost 50 years, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee has stood together, committed to upholding the dignity of every person and the solidarity of the human community. We believe the recent executive order that would stop the entry of refugees from predominantly Muslim countries is not only detrimental to national security but also contrary to our collective commitment to unity, as well as to our individual faith understandings of what it means to offer hospitality and to welcome the stranger.
For over 200 years, our nation has stood as a beacon of hope for the oppressed of the world. It has been the place that countless generations have looked upon as a land of real opportunity, a place where they can live free and provide for their families without hindrance. Certainly there have been times in our history when we have not afforded these opportunities to everyone. This should not be one of those times.
Online Registration Closed
The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
a remarkable evening of anecdotes, inspiration and celebration
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Two community leaders and one organization with strong ties to professional baseball will be honored with Values in Action Awards for their contributions to society. A faith leader who gets the most online “votes” will go down Bernie Brewer’s slide. Raffle prizes will include bats autographed by speakers and use of Bud Selig’s suite
More information about the raffle and a link to online "voting" for the slide derby will be posted soon on this page.
This soiree is a benefit supporting the critical work of the Interfaith Conference to foster understanding, counter hate, address social issues and create a better community for everyone.
Give for the Glide
Faith leader down Bernie Brewer’s Slide at Miller Park
The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee is raising funds for its critical work in Southeastern Wisconsin with a Give for the Glide donation derby. Make donations online in the name of one or more of our intrepid candidates, and the top fund-getter will ride down Bernie Brewer’s slide in Miller Park at the start of our Faith Connections event in the adjacent Johnson Controls Stadium Club on Thursday, October 27.
Diverse attendees pack Episcopal cathedral
Milwaukee’s Episcopal cathedral was filled to near-capacity the evening of June 16 for an interfaith service of remembrance and hope in response to the fatal shooting of 49 people by a Muslim man at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fl.
It was a time for people of many faiths, philosophies, lifestyles and ethnicities to come to come together in unity to grieve for the deceased while refusing to be divided or defined by hate. They shared scripture, prayer, reflection, healing and fellowship. The Milwaukee Children's Choir provided moving, uplifting choral song, while the tolling of All Saints' Cathedral's largest bell for each of the victims as their names were read was a poignant and personalized reminder of the loss.
The evening event was co-sponsored by the cathedral and the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.
A number of television stations covered the service, including Today's TMJ4, which did a detailed report. See it at: TMJ4.
After welcoming comments from the Very Rev. Kevin Carroll, dean of the cathedral, and Tom Heinen, executive director of the Interfaith Conference, several lay and ordained representatives of faiths offered scriptural readings, prayers and thoughts, including:
The Rev. Kevin Stewart, Missioner for Community Engagement for the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee, read the names of the 49 people who were killed in the Orlando nightclub. After each name was read, the cathedral's largest bell was tolled once. The Rev. Debra Trakel, an Episcopal priest and director of client services for the Milwaukee LGBT Community Center, offered a compelling personal reflection on the events in Orlando that challenged and inspired the crowd as the service drew toward an end.
Since its founding in 1970, the Interfaith Conference has consistently denounced hate crimes and any form of ethnic, racial or religious violence while striving to counter ignorance, prejudice, fear and hate. The mission of the Conference is to uphold the dignity of every person. It represents the regional leaders and adherents of 17 member denominations and faiths. It also works closely with nonmember faiths.
Statement Issued by Islamic Society of Milwaukee:
The Islamic Society of Milwaukee denounces the horrific acts of the Orlando shooter whose heinous crimes have nothing to do with our community or faith. The shooter’s ex-wife, father and others have described the shooter as being not religious and mentally unstable. This monstrous act must be condemned by all who value human life and dignity.
The ISM offers its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and prays for quick recovery for those who were injured. The Islamic Society of Milwaukee has always stood firm against all forms of violence by any group regardless of religious affiliation, creed, color, sexual orientation or any other characteristic.
We hold firm to the Islamic verse found in the Qur’an, the Muslim scripture, that equates the murder of one individual with the killing of all humanity. Our community vehemently refuses to be involuntarily represented by an immoral individual who ruthlessly took the lives of dozens of innocent people.
In the same week that we honored and mourned Muhammad Ali, who was inspired by the peace and common humanity found in the Muslim faith, we mourn victims of an individual who completely violated the most basic principle of Islam.
The ISM implores the Muslim community in Orlando, Florida and nationwide to step forward and donate blood. We also ask the Muslim community to reach out to the victims and their families and offer them assistance.
Interfaith staff member adds voice of faith to Water Commons "Confluence" gathering
She ended the event on a high note by reflecting on what had been said throughout the evening, by bringing people back to the question of where this effort goes from here, and by then sending people forward to take this work back into their communities.
The "Confluence" event unveiled Water Commons' 2016 Water City Agenda and its six initiatives. This plan was produced by a two-year effort in which over 1,300 people provided input in-person and online, in large gatherings and small groups, on the street with a mobile “water cycle” and in workshops. They helped shape a vision of Milwaukee as a true water city -- a city in which everyone would participate in the care and enjoyment of our waters. Water Commons believes that "everyone, everywhere has a vital role to play" and has intentionally reached out in urban and suburban areas to engage people of color, artists, indigenous peoples, faith groups and others.
Event on Islam draws 240 people
An energized crowd of 240 people from Mequon and other parts of the metro area listened, asked questions and applauded vigorously at an interfaith event on the evening of April 27 that was titled Exploring Islam: Addressing Difficult Questions. An interreligious conversation from Muslim, Christian and Jewish perspectives. Many lingered for refreshments and conversation aftewards.
Held at Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Mequon, the event was co-planned and co-sponsored by the church and the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee's Committee for Interfaith Understanding. The panelists were the Rev. Scott Hauser, Crossroads' senior pastor; Janan Najeeb, a founding member and president of the Milwaukee Muslim Women's Coalition; and Rabbi Ronald Shapiro, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Shalom in Fox Point, the largest Jewish congregation in the Milwaukee area.
This was a follow-up to a similar event on Islam that the Interfaith Conference co-organized in February with the Brookfield-Elm Grove Interfaith Network (BEGIN). For that event, we rented the Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove and filled its 300 seats to capacity. Some latecomers had to be turned away.
These events are part of our continuing effort to counter hate, fear, prejudice and anxiety with interfaith education and personal contact that leads to understanding, tolerance and friendship.
This is a reminder that the 2016 Frank P. Zeidler Memorial Lecture is this Sunday afternoon, April 10, at 3 p.m. in the downtown Public Library's Centennial Hall. The Interfaith Conference is involved in this free event, and our executive director is chairman of the planning committee, because the late Milwaukee mayor was one of our key founders in 1970. One of those pioneeers said in 2010 for our 40th anniversary that the Conference might not exist had it not been for his guidance and character.
Islamic Society of Milwaukee Condemns Brussels Attacks
In case you did not see it, the Islamic Society of Milwaukee -- one of 17 member faiths/denominations of the Interfaith Conference -- quickly issued a statement condemning the attacks in Belgium last week. People sometimes ask, "Why don't Muslims speak out against such attacks?" They have...and they do. It just isn't prominently and repeatedly reported in many news media. The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee has consistently opposed such violence while also speaking out against religious hate and intolerance directed at any denomination or faith. .
More than 100 people remained for a post-performance panel presentation organized by the Interfaith Conference at the Skylight Music Theatre's performance of the Gospel musical "Crowns" on March 13. Women from six different faiths who cover their heads for religious and/or cultural purposes talked about the reasons for doing so, how that affects them and the reactions they get from others.
Although we aren't doing another panel, you can still get a 30% discount for tickets to the remaining performances by calling the box office at 414-291-7800 or online at www.skylightmusictheatre.org and using the discount code INTERFAITH. There are 7:30 p.m. performances (Wednesday) March 23, (Thursday) March 24, (Friday) March 25 and at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (Saturday) March 26. The Skylight performs in Milwaukee's Third Ward in the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway.
Crowns is crafted around the tradition of African American women wearing elaborate hats to church services. The Skylight says, “In this jubilant Gospel musical, a teenager finds strength in a community of wise women who share powerful stories and songs connected to their magnificent church-going hats (aka Crowns).”
The Interfaith Conference and Calvary Baptist Church, the oldest African American Baptist Church in Milwaukee, co-sponsoring the talkback. The panelists on March 13 were from faith traditions where women cover their heads at religious services or for other religious or cultural purposes.
The panelists included:
Interfaith event on Islam draws capacity crowd to Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove
Many thanks to the speakers for providing an outstanding interfaith experience on Thursday night, February 18, at our event, "What do we really know about Islam? Answering the difficult questions."
The Sunset Playhouse in Elm Grove has 299 seats in its theater/auditorium. Community interest was so strong that we reached that capacity and then handed out contingency flyers to latecomers in the lobby and parking lot, expressing our deep gratitude for their interest, explaining that there were no more seats and no standing area. The flyer also invited them to contact us, saying that we would assure them seating at a similar event that the Interfaith Conference is organizing with Crossroads Presbyterian Church in Mequon on April 27, at the church.
It was an honor for the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee and the Brookfield-Elm Grove Interfaith Network to organize this event and to share the speakers' wisdom and energy.
Our moderator was Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi. Our speakers and welcomers included:
Answering the Difficult Questions
2015 Annual Luncheon focuses
We drew 230 people of diverse faiths to the Interfaith Conference's 45th annual luncheon on Dec. 3, 2015 to hear immediate past NCAA Chapter President James H. Hall, Jr., talk on "Social Justice Challenges: How did we get here? How do we move forward?" Attendees engaged in lively dialogue at mixed-faith tables about possible solutions, followed by our presentation of four annual awards:
Frank Zeidler Award -- Jeanne Mantsch
Youth/Young Adult Leadership Award -- St. John Vianney S.W.E.A.T.
Nearly 500 adults and children of diverse faiths, cultures and races participate in 30th Annual Greater Milwaukee CROP Hunger Walk
People from dozens of congregations, schools and organizations brought 6,000 pounds of food for the Hunger Task Force to McKinley Park, walked 2-mile or 5-mile routes and enjoyed lively music from the Salsabrosa Dance Company and the Mariachi Zamora band. Balloon hats, corn-husk crafts, a fun obstacle course and various donated snacks added to the afternoon's celebratory spirit.
A big thank you to St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Greendale, which collected an additional 9,000 pounds of nonperishable food at the church site for the CROP Walk,
In addition, Concordia University in Mequon collected 106 pounds of nonperishable food from students, staff and faculty as part of our CROP Hunger Walk effort.
AND...Tikkun Ha-Ir of Milwaukee collected more than 100 pounds of fresh produce at the lakefront walk site as part of a first-time effort to use the CROP Hunger Walk to improve the diets of food pantry clients by having people bring produce from their gardens or from the store. The Hunger Task Force distributed the produce. This was an extension of Tikkun Ha-Ir's success Surplus Harvest Milwaukee project and will be repeated for the 2016 Greater Milwaukee CROP Hunger Walk.
Dozens of volunteers from area schools and congregations helped make this year's walk a success.
Monetary donations and pledges are still being received, so we do not yet have a total.
Sikh Community joins Interfaith Conference
We have some great news. The Cabinet (board of directors) of the Interfaith Conference voted on July 17 to warmly welcome the Sikh Community and its Oak Creek and Brookfield temples as our newest faith, bringing to 17 the number of faiths and denominations that have formal membership at our board level. Sikhs have long participated in the planning and running of many of our events, and this
Let's welcome them by having a large Interfaith Conference turnout at their annual memorial Chardhi Kala run/walk on Saturday, August 1, 2015. It's free. There's entertainment, games and great food, whether you cheer or are able to do the run or the shorter walk. They would appreciate it if you would register in advance online at www.ck6k.org There will be on-site registration starting at 7 a.m. on the day of the event at the Oak Creek High School football field, 340 E. Puetz Rd.
Donations will be accepted to fund inclusive “American Dream” scholarships for 6 deserving youth from the metro Milwaukee area who exemplify the ideals that this nation was built upon and for a Memorial fund for building a structure in memory of the 6 lives lost in the tragic shooting at th