Plans have been finalized for the Interfaith Peacemaking Workshop this weekend (March 29-30).
The 28th Interfaith Peacemaking Event begins March 29 at 10 a.m. with an “Introduction to Celtic Spirituality” workshop and ends with the Sunday “Peacemaking Among the Three Abrahamic Faiths” event 1:30-5:15 p.m. in the sanctuary at First United Methodist Church, 2723 N.50th St. The events are free and require no registration.
Tension among the three faiths is a source of belligerence in the world as well as sometimes locally and regionally. The Interfaith Peacemaking Coalition’s focus on peace among the three faiths made the Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell, minister from Edinburgh, Scotland, a perfect choice for this series of events focused on praying together, learning, and developing understanding among the three Abrahamic Faiths.
The Peacemaking events begin Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon with Newell leading an “Introduction to Celtic Spirituality” workshop at First United Methodist Church. Based on his “The Book of Creation”, his Celtic scholarship and work at Iona Abby, the workshop will be inspirational. Celtic refreshments will be served.
From 7 to 8:30 p.m. Saturday evening March 29, an Interfaith Prayer Event will also be led by Newell, incorporating worship and prayer components of the three faiths. It will be hosted by the Union College and students at the Don Love Building Atrium at 3800 S. 48th St.
Sunday’s Interfaith Peacemaking Workshop at 1:30 p.m. begins with Newell’s keynote address “Peacemaking among the Three Abrahamic Faiths.” Based on his most recent visionary best seller, “A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth & the Human Soul, his remarks will make the connection among the earth, God, our faith and a call for peace among humankind.
Following Newell’s keynote address, representatives from the three Abrahamic faiths will briefly explain the foundations of their beliefs and entertain questions:
• Rabbi Josh Brown from Temple Israel, also participant in the Tri-Faith initiative in Omaha;
• Naser Alsharif, professor at Creighton University, director of the Middle East Cultural and educational Services-Omaha and representative of the Islam Foundation; and
• the Rev Dr. Nancy DeVries, interim minister at First Presbyterian Church, Lincoln, and an interfaith Lincoln participant.
Book signing and four concurrent workshops follow at 3:30 for extended conversation, learning, understanding and action. They are
1. Correcting Misconceptions about other Religions and Cultures. Facilitator Doug Hardt, director for the Center for Interfaith Studies and Culture at Union College.
2. Creating Conversations among Us. Facilitators: Nancy Intermill, member South Street temple, Dr. Manya Around- Thomas by Skype from Ecuador, Carol King, member First United Methodist Church
3. Creating a Tri-Faith Community. Facilitators: Eleanor Shirley, Member South St. Temple, Martha Gadberry, First United Church, Lincoln. Panel: Tri-Faith Initiative Members: Woody Bradford, Karim Kyayati, and Temple Israel representative
4. Creating Harmony with the Earth – Project Power Lincoln Locally. Facilitators: Chelsea Johnson and Nebraska Wesleyan Students and Alums. Guest: Dr. Kenneth Moore, Nebraska Interfaith Power and Light
At 5:15 p.m., supper will be served by Sinbad Restaurant as a free-will donation option for the participants.
The Interfaith Peacemaking Coalition, made up of organizations promoting peace, many churches, adjudicatories, the Unitarian church members of the Niagra Foundation, Jewish South Street Temple, and Muslim representatives have organized the weekend Peacemaking event to stimulate conversations among the three faiths to promote understanding, friendship and possible continuing activity as a peacemaking community. Past speakers include Jane Goodall, Jim Wallis, Admiral Eugene J. Carroll, Helen Caldicott, Matthew Fox, William Sloane Coffin and Joel Sartore.
The speaker April 12, 2015 will be Leonard Pitts, syndicated columnist.