Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Dialogue or Syncretism? -- "Tri-Faith Initiative" has big plans for Omaha

Here's some potentially major news from Omaha. Is it syncretism or merely interfaith dialogue?   You be the judge.

A remarkable project is taking place in Omaha, Nebraska.  The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska, Temple Israel and the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture have come together, planning to build a joint campus which will house a mosque, a temple and a church plus a shared facility on a large campus.  [Emphasis and links added.]

This is the only undertaking of its kind we know of in the world. On this site we will keep you in touch with the progress on the plans for the Tri-Faith campus and other news of successful interfaith projects around the nation and around the world.

The first major public program will be the March 27 event featuring Rabbi Peter Knobel of the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori of The Episcopal Church.  The evening at The Qwest Center will feature a worship service starting at 5:30 p.m., followed by a dinner and a conversation among the faith leaders on the theme of “Shalom, Salaam, Peace.”  [Emphasis and links added.]

The theme of peace is central to all three of the Abrahamic faiths and is included in daily and weekly worship.  In all three faith groups, in the midst of our prayer time, we turn to our neighbors and offer them words and signs of peace.  Whether we say “Shalom”, “Salaam” or “Peace be with you,” the message is the same — the need to be reconciled with our neighbors as we seek to be reconciled with our God.

UPDATE: According to this item, the "conversation" part of the March 27 event will be webcast:
Breaking News: We have been able to make arrangements to webcast the “Conversation on Peace” live from the Qwest that night. Just before 8 p.m. Central Time Friday night, log onto this website and you will be able to click through to the webcast at mms://   (If you try to go there now it will just come up as a Windows Media screen.)

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