2021 Events and Activities

                                                               

Ongoing Reports:

Founded in 1970, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee is a 50-year-old nonprofit organization through which the regional leaders and adherents of 22 member faiths and denominations:

  • Dialogue to build personal relationships
  • Conduct public programming to counter hate and fear while fostering interfaith, intercultural and interracial understanding, tolerance and friendship
  • Work together on hunger, unemployment, environmental challenges and other social issues to create a better society for everyone

We also work closely with several nonmember faiths.

As the United States has become increasingly religiously diverse, we have been at the forefront of efforts to counter misunderstanding, fear, anxiety and hate while fostering interfaith, intercultural, and interracial understanding, tolerance and friendships across county and city-suburban lines. 

Our various activities and programs include:

  • Committee for Interfaith Understanding that builds a better society amid growing diversity by conducting educational programs and bringing people together from a wide array of faith traditions to counter hate, fear, anxiety and bias by fostering understanding, tolerance and friendship.
  • An Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue Program that brings people of different faiths, philosophies, races and cultures together in private homes or intimate institutional settings for a vegetarian meal and a moderated dialogue about their lived experience of faith/philosophy. Our appreciative listening process evokes deep sharing. People can come to just one dinner, or more, as guests, hosts or trained moderators. 
  • An Interfaith Earth Network of Southeastern Wisconsin (IEN) whose mission is to inspire and support people of all faiths and faith communities to care for Earth based on their sacred teachings. Through education advocacy, actions and networking, IEN is a catalyst for congregations and people of faith to live, work and worship in environmentally sustainable ways.
  • An annual Tuesdays-in-March Luncheon Lecture Series organized by our Peace & International Issues Committee that addresses compelling local, regional and international issues. .
  • An Interfaith Restorative Practices Coalition that we convene and which provides a forum for sharing and collaboration by representatives of eight agencies and institutions that use principle-driven restorative practices to heal individuals and communities affected by crimes and other harmful acts. They also help congregations work through difficult internal issues. 
  • Co-sponsorship of a biennial People of Faith United for Justice advocacy day in Madison with the Wisconsin Council of Churches and other organizations that draws up to 1,000 people from across the state to focus on issues related to the proposed Wisconsin state budget and to meet with legislators.
  • Representatives on 9 area boards and commissions
  • And more.....The timeline below provides a great summary:      

 

                                Events and Activites in 2021                                 
Interfaith Advocacy

Jan 7, 2021 - Interfaith Conference issues a statement condeming the assault on the nation's capital and calling for a peaceful trasition of power from the previous administration to the next one.  Also calling upon the leadership of our country to speak in clear terms for the cessation of violence and the honoring of our Constitutional process.
Read full statement

Jan 7, 2021 - Comments from our Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee’s Executive Director, Pardeep Singh Kaleka and Archbishop Jerome Listecki, cabinet member of IFCGM.
Read and Watch Interview on Fox News

 

Outreach, Presentations & Representation

Feb 1, 2021 - Pardeep Singh Kaleka was one of six Honorees chosed for the first-ever Milwaukee Magazine Unity Award.  The award honors those in our community working tirelessly to bring us all together.  The inaugural Unity Awards virtual event on Feb 25, 7:30 - 9:30am included a panel discussion with the honorees and a keynote speech from featured guest Rev. Nontombi Naomi Tutu. To read the full article: Unity Awards Article

Jan 17, 2021- On the eve of January 17th, we honored and appreciated the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This was a Milwaukee/North Shore Family event sponsored by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Milwaukee, in collaboration with the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, From The Same Dust, United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay, Christ Church (Episcopal), Old Saint Mary's, Congregation Shalom, Our Lady of Divine Providence (Riverwest), Unitarian Church North, Saints Peter and Paul, Three Holy Women Catholic Parish, Saint Eugene Congregation (Fox Point). We celebrated with word, song and video the Faith and Vision of MLK by sharing these universal truths: Oneness of Mankind, Unity, Justice, and Service
39 presenters who gave their time and talent to make this MLK program special: Kathy Wurzer, Baha'is of Southeastern Wisconsin, Brent Arnold, Congregation Shalom, Lucy Norris, Kari Karth, Amira Randolph, United Methodist of Whitefish Bay, Aidan Saeian, Baha'i Faith, Mary McEllistrem, St. Eugene's Congregation, Rev. Christie Melby-Gibbons, Moravian Church, Kate Mitchell, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Rabbi Noah Chertkoff, Congregation Shalom, Rabbi Rachel Kaplan Marks, Congregation Shalom, Glenda Battle, Baha'i Faith.Annemarie Adsen, The Religious Society of Friends, The Milwaukee Meeting, Isabella, Derek and Karissa Brown, Gideon and Frankie Thurow, Ben and Rubi Kastenmeier, Unitarian Church North, Father John Baumgardner, Catholic Church, Vernetta Jefferson, United Methodist of Whitefish Bay, Rev. Dr. Lisa Bates-Froiland, Redeemer Lutheran. David Noll, Baha'i Faith, Rev. Tony Larsen, Unitarian Church North, Ken Elbert, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Rev. Oswald Bwechwa, Christ Church Episcopal, Rev. Dr. John Walton, Jr., Calvary Baptist Church of Milwaukee, Bill Alhauser, Baha'i Faith, Arya Saeian, Baha'i Faith, Nathaniel Bratchett, Baha'i Faith, Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Sikh Temple of WIsconsin, Rev. Edwin Leidel, Christ Church Episcopal, Sarvesh Geddam, Hindu Temple of Wisconsin, Sarih Leng, Baha'i Faith, Rev. Dr. Matt Hadley, United Methodist of Whitefish Bay, Pastor Janet Hartzell, United Methodist of Whitefish Bay, Leigh Hoftiezer, Unitarian Church North, Miryam Rosensweig, Milwaukee Jewish Federation

Jan 17-20, 2021 Sunday, Jan 17th - Wednesday, Jan 20th  9:30am -10:20am broadcasted live on Facebook and recorded "Praying Through The Presidential Transition:  A Wisconsin Interaith Response to Violence" vigil program.  We gathered in unity desiring a peaceful transition of power. Each day at 9:30 am, speakers of different faith traditions expressed their prayers, readings and reflections during a 50 minute event.  Co-sponsors were Wisconsin Council of Churches, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, MICAH, Wisconsin Voices for Justice, WISDOM and regional affiliates CUSH, ESTHER, MOSES, RIC, SOPHIA, NETWORK and Faith in Public Life. Themes and speakers were:

Sunday, Jan 17th:  "Finding Strength When We Are Fatigued"

Barbara Murray - Charging Crow and Delbert Charging Crow (Ocerti Sakowin Tribe, Lakota Tribe)

Rev. Michele "Mimi" Maki (Emmaus Ecumenical Catholic Community of Oshkosh)

Fr. Yeprem Kelegian (Armenian Church/Racine Interfaith Coalition)

Imam Noman Hussain (Islamic Society of Milwaukee)

Monday, Jan 18th:  "What Needs Protection"

Mark Denning (Oneida Tribe)

Rev. Reirin Gumbel (Milwaukee Zen Center/Buddhist Peace Fellowship)

Rev. Marilyn Miller (MICAH)

Rev. Karen Armina (James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation)

Tuesday, Jan 19th:  "Healing, Accountability, and Responsibility"

Rev. Jake Czarnik-Neimeyer (Emmaus Ecumenical Catholic Community)

Sister Joan Durst (Sinsinawa Dominican)

Rev. Walter Lanier (MICAH)

Pastor Chuck Flugel (East Central Synod ELCA)

Wednesday, Jan 20th:  "Holding Space for Community"

Rabbi Jonathan Biatch (Temple Beth El, Madison)

Sarvesh Geddam (Hindu Temple of Wisconsin)

Rev. Joseph Jackson Jr. (Friendship Baptist Church, MICAH)

Pardeep SIngh Kaleka and Cherrie Hanson (Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee)

Watch live on Facebook at Wisconsin Council of Churches 
or watch post-recorded event @InterfaithConference.org or @WisconsinCouncilofChurches 

 

 

Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues Program

 

 

Committee for Interfaith Understanding (CIU)

 

 

Interfaith Earth Network (IEN)

 

 

Peace and International Issues Committee  (PIIC)

 

 

Interfaith Restorative Practices Coalition