Interfaith Advocacy and Statements

Our Interfaith Prayers during COVID-19 crisis
As faith groups and their adherents in the Greater Milwaukee area struggle to deal with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in their lives, faith leaders from our member judicatories and committees have prepared short prayers/reflections touching on the pandemic. The prayers reflect Catholic, Protestant, Unitarian, Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, Bahai'i, Hindu and Sikh traditions among others. This collection reflects our 50-year history of  building relationships; countering hate and fear with programming that fosters understanding, tolerance, and friendship; and working together on social issues to help create a better society for everyone.

American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin
God, we come to you in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit to thank you for Your sovereignty. We thank You for Your protection, love and compassion. We pray specifically for all those in Milwaukee and beyond who have been directly and indirectly affected by this virus. We hold fast to the words of our Savior in John 16:33b, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

O my Lord!  Thou knowest that the people are encircled with pain and calamities and are environed with hardships and trouble.  Every trial doth attack man and every dire adversity doth assail him like unto the assault of a  serpent. There is no shelter and asylum for him except under the wing of Thy protection, preservation, guard and custody.

O Thou the Merciful One!  O my Lord!  Make Thy protection my armor, Thy preservation my shield, humbleness before the door of Thy oneness my guard, and Thy custody and defense my fortress and my abode.  Preserve  me from    the suggestions of self and desire, and guard me from every sickness, trial, difficulty and ordeal.
Verily, Thou art the Protector, the Guardian, the Preserver, the Sufficer, and verily, Thou art the Merciful of the Most Merciful.

Religious Society of Friends, The Milwaukee Meeting

Roman Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Prayer in the Time of a Pandemic
May we who are merely inconvenienced
remember those whose lives are at stake.
May we who have no risk factors
remember those most vulnerable.
May we who have the luxury of working from home
remember those who must choose between preserving their health or making their rent.
May we who have the flexibility to care for our children when their schools close
remember those who have no options.
May we who have to cancel our trips
remember those that have no place to go.
May we who are losing our margin money in the tumult of the economic market
remember those who have no margin at all.
May we who settle in for a quarantine at home
remember those who have no home.
During this time when we cannot physically wrap our arms around each other,
let us yet find ways to be the loving embrace of God to our neighbors.

Episcopal Church, Diocese of Milwaukee
Prayer in Time of Sickness
O most merciful God, in this time of fear and contagion we turn to you for help and comfort. Deliver us we beseech you from the perils that beset us, give strength and skill to all who minister to the sick or seek a cure for our affliction; and grant that being reminded of how frail and uncertain human life can be, grant that we may apply our hearts to that heavenly wisdom which leads to eternal life, through Christ our Lord. Amen

Southeast Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist Congregations

A New Prayer (by Barbara Collignon)

We invoke the One we call upon
in time of deep despair.
We seek the One who’d answer us,
respond to earnest prayer.
From this Source of Life we ask
strength to meet an awesome task,
courage in the face of fear,
greater faith to persevere.
But we must answer our own prayer.
we must rise to tend and care.
We must give and we must strive
to comfort, cure, embrace, revive.
So we unite to conquer fear,
our homes protect,
our hearts to cheer.
We pray for health.
We pray for love
but seek not answers from above.
May we be the answer
to another’s prayer.
Let us reach out and let us care.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Greater Milwaukee Synod
Creator God, we give you thanks for all those working to combat this deadly pandemic: for all medical personnel and first-responders and all who risk their own well-being out of love for their neighbors; for sanitation workers and truck drivers, and all those who work to provide for our daily needs; for leaders of our government, businesses, organizations and faith communities and all who have had to make bold decisions in the midst of swirling uncertainty; for teachers, parents, and schoolchildren, who are daily working to find new ways to teach and learn; for families and communities that have lost loved ones, and for all who have suffered. These are fearful times, but we believe that you are a God who is always working to fashion a new creation. Grant us the courage, compassion, wisdom, and patience we need to not just survive this challenging time, but to come out of it on the other side a stronger community, a more faithful people, and a more just global society, in your holy name we pray; amen.

United Church of Christ, Southeast Wisconsin Association
Dear God of life and love; as we journey through this season of fear and uncertainty, give us the grace and courage to make the changes that are needed in our lives, and in so doing, may we be open to your leading. Keep us mindful that you are with us in every moment, offering us the strength and creativity to choose what is right. We ask these things in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen

Islamic Society of Milwaukee
In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful:
God Almighty, we seek refuge with You from all diseases (except old age);
You are the Great Curer; there is no cure except through You;
We beseech You to cure those that are ill from this disease, to protect those who are healthy and to grant us guidance so that we may be among those who are patient in adversity and who, when calamity befalls them say, “Verily, unto God we belong and unto Him we shall return.” (Qur’an 2:155-156)


United Methodist Church, Milwaukee District
Creator of Life, We lift up people of all faiths and of no faith, all people of goodwill, so that everyone may change their lives for the love and service of neighbor; help us to ask in our hearts how we can be good neighbors to the other, especially in times of crisis and disaster. Our churches are closed, temples are shut, pilgrimages are called off; we are trying to find new ways to reconnect.
We pray for all people who take care of the sick, suffering and dying. We especially lift up all public health personnel and social workers, health educators and researchers who serve selflessly day and night to care for all in need and try to find solutions to save lives. Grant them more and more courage, wisdom and grace, so that they also take care of themselves while serving others.
Creator of life, you have created order out of chaos, new life out of many crises. In this crisis of Coronavirus, we know that you are with us in our chaos and craziness, pandemic and trauma; you are with all humanity and especially with the all those who struggle in this crisis.  We know in a mysterious way you will transform everything into good; Help us to cling onto that Hope.


Jewish Community Relations Council/Milwaukee Jewish Federation/Wisconsin Council of Rabbis
May it be your will Hashem Our God and God of our Fathers that you should have abundant mercy upon all the inhabitants of the earth and shield them from all harsh and evil decrees that are arising and coming upon the world. And save us from all affliction, plague, sickness and disease. And all those who are sick, who have been infected by the disease, heal them with a complete healing.
Yours, Hashem, are the greatness and the might, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and on the earth is Yours; 
Yours is the Kingdom and you are He Who is exalted over everything as the leader.
And in Your hand is the life of every living thing and the power and might to make great and strengthen and heal every downtrodden individual, every oppressed soul.  Nothing is too wonderous for you!
Therefore, may it be your will, the Almighty, trustworthy, compassionate father, who heals all of the illnesses of his people. You, the trustworthy Healer, send cure and healing and arise with abundant compassion, mercy and caring for all of those who are sick, that have been infected with this illness.


African Methodist Episcopal Church, Milwaukee District
Our Father, during your Son’s ministry on earth He showed His power and care by healing people of all ages and stages in life. He healed people from physical, mental and spiritual ailments.
Father, we ask that You be present now to your people who need Your loving, healing touch. May we feel Your power and healing through the care of doctors, nurses, first responders and our government.
Father we ask that You take away the fear, anxiety, and feelings of isolation as we face these challenges of the pandemic.
Bless your people is our prayer.
In the strong name of Jesus, we offer it. Amen


Presbyterian Church (USA), Presbytery of Milwaukee
Holy One, in your mercy, give us patience to stay away, not for our sakes, but for the love of our neighbor.  Give us discipline to stay away, not for our sakes, but for the sake of the healthcare worker who runs into us at the grocery store after a 24-hour shift.  Give us a willingness to remain in solitude, not for our sakes, but for the sake of the hardware store clerk caring for two elderly parents at home, who are vulnerable to whatever we might be carrying.  Give us selfless love for others, just as you have shown selfless love to us.  Amen!


Sikh Community/Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin/Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
Dear Lord, you are our master and to you we offer our prayer. This body and soul are all your property. You are our mother and father; we are your children. In your grace, there are so many joys, no one knows your limit. Dear Lord, please bless us with your kindness and protect your creation. Please God show us your mercy. Whole creation is strung on your thread. When you are on our side, we do not have to worry about anything. Please bless your creation with peace and give us courage to face this unbearable tragedy due to COVID-19. There is none other than you who can take away our fear and anxiety. Our heart goes out to families who have lost their loved ones and are going through difficult times. At end of our daily prayers, we say, Nanak Naam Chardi Kala Tere Bane Sarbat Da Bhalla, “In God’s Name, We Pray for the Peace and Prosperity of All Man-Kind."


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints/Milwaukee North and South Stakes
Just after Jesus Christ instructed his apostles that he would soon no longer be with them physically, he took great care to explain how they might feel confidence, absence of fear, and peace. In John chapter 16, verse 33 (KJV) He concludes his instruction with: "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” While we can certainly point to the tribulation we see in the world right now, many of us are working through the process of having peace and being of good cheer. We hope to use this time of simplicity at home to evaluate our priorities and identify what truly brings us peace and joy in our lives. God bless us all.


Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Milwaukee
Reflection on Strength in Community
Difficult times can be an opportunity to remember our natural connection with each other and all of life. May we take a deep breath and collect the mind in gratitude and compassion. May we be present with those who find themselves in distress and fear, and may our lives be filled with kindness and joy. 
May it be so.


Hindu Temple of Wisconsin
Sarveshaam Swastir Bhavatu May there be well-being in all
Sarveshaam Shantir Bhavatu May there be peace in all
Sarveshaam Poornam Bhavatu May there be fulfilment in all
Sarveshaam Magalam Bavatu May there be auspiciousness in all
Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha May all (beings) be happy
Sarve Santu Niraamayaaha May all (beings) be free from illnesses
Sarve Bhdrani Pashyantuu  May all (beings) see what is auspicious
Maa kachit duukha bhaagbhavet May no (being) suffer
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om Peace Peace Peace!


M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism
In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful,
O Gracious One, we have nothing else to say other than prayer, we have nothing else to offer other than our entreaties.
O Greatest One, we turn to you with a prayer for our protection and healing in a time of pandemic, where the coronavirus is spreading in the world.
O Forgiving One, do not leave us unto ourselves, but guide us to the glory within, and touch us with Your supreme kindness.
O Healer One, heal those who are sick.
O Patient One, grant patience to those who live in quarantine.
O Greatest One, give support to those who take care of others and protect them as they serve.
O All Knowing One, inspire scientists in their research to find the cure for coronavirus disease.
Our Lord! and accept the prayer. (Quran 14:40)


Moravian Church in North America, Western District
Sometimes, when I pray,
I bow my head, cup my hands,
And hold them out in front of me as though I were:

Raising Living Water to my lips
Waiting to receive the Bread of Life
Offering up my heart, my soul, my strength
Sheltering a small spark of the Light of the World
Setting free a cloud-white dove to find us a token of Peace

Sometimes, when I pray.


April 8, 2020

As faith leaders in Wisconsin, we have chosen to demonstrate our love of neighbors by closing our doors during the COVID-19 pandemic.  In some cases, our moratorium on all public worship and meetings was put in place even before the State order because we believed this was the best way to protect the greatest number of people and slow the spread of this virus. The action of Governor Evers helps people to understand the severity of this moratorium. Is it a sacrifice? Yes.  People of faith understand sacrifice and what it requires to give oneself in love for others.

Accordingly, we are troubled by suggestions of government leaders that the Safer At Home order be lifted on the occasion of upcoming holy days.  The collective moratorium is a wise decision that protects both people in the community and our faith organizations. To pull back from that decision – on a case-by-case, congregation-by-congregation, temple-by-temple, mosque-by-mosque, synagogue-by-synagogue basis – puts an undue burden on faith leaders at a time when their energies are best turned elsewhere.  Moreover, those most likely to attend such services are older persons who are particularly vulnerable to the effects of the virus. 

For our faith groups, this time has been a time of great creativity. Clergy are gathering their people for worship and study through Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook Live throughout the week. Faith organizations are teaming together to offer joint services.  Clergy and lay leaders are also reaching out to one another on a regular basis in a number of ways utilizing both new and old technology. . Put simply, social distancing has not required spiritual distancing.  Though we will miss our in-person celebrations during holy days, we know our gatherings will be even sweeter and more meaningful when we are at last able to be together again safely, on the other side of this pandemic.

Worshipping in this way has not only attracted our regulars but is an easier entry point for some who, for whatever reason, are hesitant to enter our buildings.  While we are grateful for the desire of government leaders to protect religious freedom, we have learned that with freedom comes responsibility. Freedom is freedom for the service and care of others.  

As faith leaders in Wisconsin, we agree that the teachings of our various traditions require faithful responsibility and protection of others, and we will continue to strongly urge our respective faith members not to congregate for purposes of communal worship in this challenging time.


The Rt. Rev. Steven A. Miller, Bishop                                       Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Executive Director
The Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee                                       Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee
(414) 272-3028                                                                                   (414) 364-6263

The Rev. David Simmons, Chair                                                 Rev. Kerri Parker, Executive Director
Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee                          Wisconsin Council of Churches
(262) 347-7447                                                                                   (608) 837-3108

Faith Organizations Supporting the Statement authored by The Rt. Rev. Stephen A. Miller. Bishop

American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin
Buddhist Peace Fellowship, Milwaukee
Religious Society of Friends, The Milwaukee Meeting
Episcopal Church, Diocese of Milwaukee
Southeast Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist Congregations
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Greater Milwaukee Synod
United Church of Christ, Southeast Wisconsin Association
Islamic Society of Milwaukee
United Methodist Church, Milwaukee District
Jewish Community Relations Council/ Milwaukee Jewish Federation/ Jewish Federation of Madison
Wisconsin Council of Rabbis
African Methodist Episcopal Church, Milwaukee District
Presbyterian Church (USA), Presbytery of Milwaukee
Sikh Religious Society of Wisconsin
Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Milwaukee North and South Stakes
Hindu Temple of Wisconsin
M.T.O. Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism
Moravian Church in North America, Western District



IFCGM Statement on COVID-19
March, 2020

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee notes with concern the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) throughout the world and our nation. Our prayers and meditation from our various faith traditions are holding up all those who suffer physically, psychologically, socially and economically from the effects of the virus.

According to current science, the physical dangers of this pandemic are grave and should be taken seriously. We call upon the leaders of our faith communities to pay attention to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and all other federal and state agencies as they relate to issues around sanitation of worship spaces and methods of gathering for worship.

We call upon our leaders in all areas of society, particularly our representatives in state and federal government, to work quickly in a cooperative manner to bring the necessary resources to bear in containing and mitigating this Pandemic, as well as addressing the socio/economic cost it bears.

We call upon all people of faith to continue to pray and work to alleviate the suffering of those affected, to show compassion for them, and to do all we can to prevent further contagion. This is a time of both sober caution and confident courage.

Most important of all is that we take care of ourselves and each other, especially the most vulnerable in our midst. This cannot be a time to fan the flames of suspicion, greed or hate.  The measure of our society will be found in the way we respond to this challenge.

We are one in our humanity, and we face this together.

(Issued by Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Interfaith Executive Director; and the Rev. David Simmons, Intrerfaith Cabinet Chair)



The Center for Disease Control COVID-19 Site 

Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Page 

Wisconsin Council of Churches Faith-Based Response to Coronavirus: 


Interfaith Conference Statement
Support for a Lead-Free Milwaukee

October 7, 2019 Milwaukee City Budget Hearing

.       Exposure to lead poses a significant health threat to all Milwaukee residents but disproportionately impacts women of childbearing age and children younger than six.  Permanent health effects for children include lower IQ, hyperactivity, slowed growth, learning delays and disabilities, as well as kidney damage and seizures in extreme cases.  In 2018, children in Milwaukee tested three times higher for elevated blood lead levels than children in the State of Wisconsin as a whole, and children specifically in Milwaukee’s Amani neighborhood tested for elevated blood lead levels at a rate five times higher than the rate in Flint, Michigan during their city’s contaminated water crisis in 2014 (MK Nutrition & Lead Task Force, 2019).

            The City of Milwaukee’s aging infrastructure contains more than 75,000 lead service lines (Jannene, 2019), yet only 2,175 lead service lines have been replaced in the past three years (Shelbourne, 2019; Milwaukee Water Works).  Recognizing that citywide service line replace is a slow process but that children’s lives are presently being affected by lead exposure, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, therefore, strongly urges the Common Council to support the “Birthing Moms Pilot Project” by passing an amendment to the city’s 2020 budget in the amount of $240,000.  This project, administered by the Milwaukee Health Department, will provide NSF/ANSI Standard 53 certified lead filtering pitchers, two replacement cartridges, and lead education kits to all birthing moms from zip codes where the lead poisoning density in Milwaukee is the most severe, i.e. 53204, 53206, 53208, and 53210, prior to being discharged from the hospital. 


Milwaukee Water Works. “Lead and Water.” Retrieved September 30, 2019.

MKE Nutrition & Lead Task Force (2019). “2018 Well Fed Means Less Lead Campaign Summary” 

Jannene, J. (2019, July 17). Retrieved September 30, 2019.


Detention Statement

July 25, 2019

We see our nation at the crossroads of a spiritual crisis. The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee expresses its deep concern about the inhumane conditions that our government has created and continues to maintain in the facilities detaining persons seeking asylum in our country. We urge immediate action by our government and leaders to address this developing humanitarian tragedy.

Reputable and multiple sources report that many of these asylum seekers have been denied adequate medical care and basic necessities. In addition, they are subjected to harsh living conditions in these facilities, including sleeping on concrete floors, 24/7 lighting of sleeping areas, and inadequate facilities for hygiene. We note with alarm that in the past few months multiple children and adults have died in our government’s custody. Our country’s sad history of mass incarceration and family separations, which has included but is not limited to people of African American, First Nations, and Japanese American ancestry, demonstrates the grave long-term consequences and multi-generational trauma of detention and/or family separation.[1]

Our respective faith traditions call us to treat the stranger with hospitality, dignity, and respect. For example, in Exodus 22:21 of the Hebrew Scriptures, it is commanded that “You shall not wrong or oppress a stranger, for you were once strangers in the land of Egypt.” As a nation built by immigrants, we are called to an attitude of compassion towards those who in many ways resemble our own ancestors.

In a soaring statement that sums up our aspirations even as we still struggle towards its fulfillment, the foundational document of our country states that humans are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”[2] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 14(1), provides, “Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” The rights of asylum-seekers to humanitarian treatment is not only implicit in our national foundations but explicit in our international treaty obligations.

The spiritual and ethical future of our nation is being determined by how we react in this humanitarian and spiritual crisis. If we fail to act and build compassionate policy and infrastructure surrounding asylum-seekers, we will not only cause irreparable harm to those in detention today - we will morally wound our nation and the generations to follow.

The Interfaith Conference urges its members to take action by supporting organizations that serve asylum seekers, by speaking out within our social networks, and by advocating for our government officials to take immediate, emergency action consistent with our various faith traditions and our civil society’s values.

We urge all people of faith to seek out and support the agencies and ministries of their faith traditions that are working in advocacy and relief in regards to our Nation’s immigration system.

[1] For data on the health effects on children, see Impact of punitive immigration policies, parent-child separation and child detention on the mental health and development of children by Laura CN Wood. For discussion of the long-term effects of slavery, Reconstruction and Jim Crow on the African American community, see Stony the Road: Reconstruction, White Supremacy, and the Rise of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. For data on the health effects of the Japanese-American Internment during the Second World War, see The Experience of Injustice: Health Consequences of the Japanese American Internment by Gwendolyn M. Jensen.

[2] Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson.

Stand Against Hate in Waukesha County

May 13, 2019

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee notes with concern the use of the Waukesha County Exposition Center this past weekend by a group purporting to be a “Security Conference,” but with a roster of speakers who are known to have repeatedly engaged in virulent hate speech against Muslims as a group.

The IFCGM mourned with the Sikh community after the shooting in Oak Creek in 2012. In the last two years, we have prayed with the Muslim, Jewish and Christian communities after the violent events in Pittsburgh, California, Louisiana, Sri Lanka, and New Zealand. We have stood in solidarity with our local communities of faith as America faces renewed waves of white supremacy, Islamophobia and antisemitism. We condemn all forms of speech that judge people on the basis of their race, religion, gender, or any other generalizing factor that ignores the dignity of the individual human being that underlies the solidarity of the human community.

We are concerned that individuals indulging in hate speech have come to consider Waukesha County a friendly venue. While we appreciate the issues that flow from public facilities and free speech, we note that there are limits to which groups are given the implicit support of facility use. We would encourage the Waukesha County government to review its facility use policies to determine whether such use accords with the values of Waukesha County and its voters. If Waukesha County is “Leading the Way,” as its vision statement and logo proclaim, it must determine the direction that leadership is going in a time when minority groups are under increasing threat of persecution and violence.

We furthermore call upon the leadership of Waukesha County to issue statements explicitly affirming the welcome place of American Muslims and people of all minority races, religions, and ethnicities as residents of Waukesha County. Considering the virulence of the hate speech used in the past by the organizers and presenters who contracted to speak inside a county facility this past weekend, this intentional acknowledgment by our elected leaders of the contributions of American Muslims to the culture, civic life, and economy of Waukesha County is warranted.

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee is a 49-year-old nonprofit organization through which the regional leaders and adherents of 18 faiths and denominations: dialogue to build relationships; counter hate and fear with programming that fosters understanding, tolerance, and friendship; and work together on social issues to help create a better society for everyone.

Stand Against Hatred and Violence

March 15, 2019

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee strongly condemns the horrific attack on two mosques in New Zealand.

Although this atrocity has not taken place in our geographic area, we are aware of the effect such acts of terror can have on our local community. The rising tide of hatred across the globe affects us all.

Last night’s attack is another manifestation of the hatred and violence that has become all too common around the world, including Islamophobia in this instance but also hatred towards the stranger in general. In these challenging times, let us strive to advocate for understanding and justice and the basic precepts of mercy and compassion that underlie all of our faiths.

The Interfaith Conference reaffirms our common commitment to the inherent dignity of every human being – seen in many faiths as being made by a loving Creator -- and recommits itself to peacemaking and justice among our constituent bodies and beyond.

The Interfaith Conference is a 49-year-old nonprofit organization through which the regional leaders and adherents of 18 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

Nonmember faiths and denominations also help plan and participate.

Issued by the Interfaith Conference Executive Committee

Interfaith Conference Stands with Jewish Communities,
Condemns Anti-Semitic Violence at Pittsburgh Synagogue

October 27, 2018

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee strongly condemns the anti-Semitic violence carried out against worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although this atrocity has not taken place in our geographic area, we are aware of the effect such acts of terror can have on our local community.

Our prayers, our support, and our commitment to continue to act in solidarity are with those in Pittsburgh and our local Jewish community as they mourn and continue to struggle with the immoral scourge of anti-Semitism. The Interfaith Conference reaffirms our common commitment to the inherent dignity of every human being as made by a loving Creator and recommits itself to peacemaking and justice among our constituent bodies and beyond.

The Interfaith Conference is a 48-year-old nonprofit organization through which the regional leaders and adherents of 18 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

Nonmember faiths and denominations also help plan and participate

A Season of Action Against Hate

Oct. 12, 2017

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee calls on all people of every faith and philosophy in Southeastern Wisconsin to stand against hate and uphold the dignity of all people during a Season of Action Against Hate, beginning with the collective Anti-Hate Weekend, Oct. 13-15, and continuing to Thanksgiving, when Americans of diverse races, genders, and creeds come together in appreciation of our great nation.

During this season against hate, we ask faith leaders and others to teach, preach, and dialogue about the rise of hate and how to build a community of compassion. This is occurring in conjunction with the Anti-Hate Weekend, a community-wide mobilization to reject hate and build a compassionate community.

Faith communities – in houses of worship and on the streets – are powerful forces for the common good. The Interfaith Conference charges faith leaders to galvanize the community with the power of their particular faith tradition to reject hate in our community.

Faith leaders are invited to join the Facebook group, Teaching and Preaching Against Hate SE Wisconsin, , where they can share sermons, thoughts, programs, and ideas.

The Interfaith Conference also is urging leaders and members of all faiths to create and submit short videos of one or two minutes during the Season Against Hate and to send them to Videos should respond to one of the following prompts:

  • What does your faith tradition teach about hate and intolerance, about loving the stranger?
  • How does your faith tradition inform how you behave toward people of other faiths?
  • Share an insight about compassion that you want others to know.

Authorized by Interfaith Cabinet. Approved by Interfaith Executive Committee

Interfaith Conference statement on hate in Charlottesville

August 14, 2017

The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee is urging people of all faiths throughout southeastern Wisconsin and beyond to speak out and stand guard against the white supremacist hatred that violently burst from the underbelly of our American culture in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend.

These hate groups are trying the soul of our society, and these are not the times for people of faith to respond with pious platitudes and lukewarm expressions of concern.

The world is all too familiar with the violent catastrophes that await a nation when racial and religious hatred are not vigorously opposed. Jews are still being vilified by contemporary hate groups. African Americans feel the continuing lash of racism, both subtle and brutal. The Sikh community here has felt the bitter sting of a white supremacist’s gunfire. We need no more reminders that none of us is immune from evil.

Religious leaders should preach out, speak out, and uphold the dignity of every person. People of good will should live up to the highest ideals of their faiths and philosophies and not merely mouth them behind closed doors.

There remains more light than darkness. Many local faiths, denominations, organizations and institutions work long hours to counter injustice, fear, hate, and bigotry. The Interfaith Conference is one of them. Find one. Add your voice. Add your energy. Even in the incredible busyness of our digitally connected lives, do what you can, whenever you can, wherever you can. And do it today. At some point, waiting for one more tomorrow could be too late.

Approved by Interfaith Conference Executive Commitee

Interfaith Statement on Beating of Muslim Woman

April 13, 2017

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).

Interfaith Statement on Hate

Feb. 22, 2017

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 of a nation whose freedoms and opportunities have been a beacon that must not be dimmed.

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.

Issued by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee Executive Committee on behalf
of the Interfaith Cabinet (our board of directors).

Interfaith Statement on Refugees

Jan. 30, 2017

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.