Programming will be focused on six skill-building program area (including a track for children) with blocks of time also set aside for open networking, dialogue groups, cultural activities and participant-driven programming.
- A keynote panel with Rev. Jennifer Bailey, Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, Rabbi David Saperstein, and an additional high-profile leader in the interfaith movement on Sunday evening. The keynote panel will set the stage for our reimagining work, followed by a dinner/reception.
- Six ‘Program Tracks’ of Learning, Training, Skill-Sharing workshops.
- ‘Circle group’ meetings in small groups of 10-12 individuals to process the experience and build interfaith relationships throughout the event.
- Diverse Worship and Spiritual Focus opportunities.
- An Interreligious Public Action on Tuesday afternoon demonstrating our resolve.
- Prioritized interfaith relationship building and resource sharing.
Program Track I - Cultivating Inclusive Communities in the Face of Religious Discrimination
Purpose: To provide participants with the tools needed to create communities that are welcoming, safe and equal for people of all or no religion, spiritual expressions, or Indigenous tradition, with a focus on addressing current issues of discrimination and oppression of religion and being in accountable solidarity with religious activists and movements that are experiencing oppression and discrimination.
Program Track II - Community Organizing: Initiating and Sustaining Social Change Movements
Purpose: To provide participants with tools to enhance their work in interfaith/faith-based community organizing, policy and advocacy around a variety of social change and social justice issues; and to provide a space for strategizing, networking, and building and supporting interfaith coalitions and movements that make a difference.
Program Track III - Staying “Woke”: Recognizing Privilege, Challenging Systemic Oppression
Purpose: To provide participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of privilege and systemic oppression, with an emphasis on racial oppression, and to provide space to support the building of skills, networks and tools needed to form and activate interfaith coalitions to dismantle intersectional oppression and support/create new systems.
Program Track IV - Interfaith Organizing in a Changing Spiritual Landscape
Purpose: To provide participants with the opportunity to deepen their understanding of the current spiritual landscape and to provide space for envisioning innovative models of engaging communities and individuals in interfaith organizing and social change work. Discussions will include the growth of the ‘spiritual but not religious’ identity, multi-religious identities, and areas of change.
Program Track V - Making A Movement: Building Skills to Bring Interfaith to the Next Level
Purpose: To provide participants with the opportunity to think critically, tactically, and strategically about the development of interfaith cooperation as a movement. Arguably interfaith cooperation is not seen as on par with other movements for social change, yet its purpose is arguably as important as other endeavors, especially in the current environment. Discussions will look at institutionalizing markers and then growing edges/needs of interfaith cooperation.
Want your kids to know more about faith traditions other their own?
The Reimagine Interfaith Gathering will include a Kids’ Track!
It’s never too early to share the world’s faith traditions with your kids. The Kids’ Track will provide a wonderful opportunity for your children to explore the world’s major faith traditions using tried-and-true, age-appropriate methods. We’ll start each day with an ice-breaker and an opening ritual. We’ll end each day with a closing ritual. In between, we’ll
- Read stories
- Sing songs
- Make crafts
- Learn about holy days
- Eat traditional foods
- Explore common ritual practices
We’ll primarily focus on religious traditions with the largest number of adherents across the globe but that are minorities in North America: Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism/Vedic, and Islam.Additional topics will be included depending on the faith practices of our participants. There are amazing narratives, fun crafts, and interesting holidays in ALL religious traditions, and kids will certainly have opportunities to share their own perspectives. Comparisons to Christian symbols, rituals, and holidays will also be included where appropriate. We’ll wrap up the program with some “faith-in-action” brainstorming and activities that revolve around the Golden Rule, creation care, and age-appropriate social justice initiatives.
A Few More Details
Who: Kids age 5-14 years of age (roughly Kindergarten through 8th grade). If your child/young adult is over 14 years of age and is interested in volunteering as an assistant, please contact Vicki Garlock at email@example.com.
This program is offered by Faith Seeker Kids. Questions? Contact Vicki Garlock at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday Evening Keynote Panel
Rabbi David Saperstein (@RabbiSaperstein) was designated by Newsweek Magazine as the most influential rabbi in America and by the Washington Post as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” David Saperstein, for decades, directed the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, representing the Reform Jewish Movement, the largest segment of American Jewry, to Congress and the Administration. Today he serves as a Senior Advisor to the Union for Reform Judaism for Policy and Strategy. For over two years (through Jan. 2017), Rabbi Saperstein served our nation as the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, carrying out his responsibilities as the country’s chief diplomat on religious freedom issues. Also an attorney, he taught seminars on Church-State law and Jewish Law for 35 years at Georgetown University Law Center. During his career, Rabbi Saperstein has served as the chair or co-chair of several national interreligious coalitions including the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty and served on the boards or executive committees of numerous national organizations including the NAACP, People for The American Way, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Religious Partnership on the Environment and the World Faith Development Dialogue. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at both the Georgeotwn University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs and its School of Foreign Service's Center for Jewish Civilization as well as the Senior Advisor for Strategy and Policy for the Union for Reform Judaism. Rabbi Saperstein is married to Ellen Weiss, an award-winning journalist and has two sons, Daniel and Ari.
Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi (@melsanousi1) is the Director of the Secretariat of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (NRTP), a global network initiated by United Nations Mediation Support Unit, UN Alliance of Civilizations, Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Religions for Peace, KAICIID Dialogue Center and Finn Church Aid. He heads the NRTP's Washington D.C. Office. Originally from Senegal, Dr. Elsanousi served as the director of Community Outreach and Interfaith Relations for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). He is the Founding co-chair of Shoulder to Shoulder. He served on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry’s Taskforce on Religion and Foreign Policy Working Group.
Rev. Jennifer Bailey (@faithmattersnet) is the Founder and Executive Director of The Faith Matters Network, which centers the voices of leaders who have traditionally been pushed to the margins of religious narratives. Named one of 15 Faith Leaders to Watch by the Center for American Progress, Rev. Jennifer Bailey is an ordained minister, public theologian, and emerging national leader in the multifaith movement for justice. Her organization is a new interfaith community equipping faith leaders to challenge structural inequality in their communities. Jennifer has nearly a decade of experience at nonprofits combatting intergenerational poverty. An Ashoka Fellow, Nathan Cummings Foundation Fellow, On Being Fellow and Truman Scholar, Jennifer earned degrees from Tufts University and Vanderbilt University Divinity School where she was awarded the Wilbur F. Tillett Prize for accomplishments in the study of theology. She writes regularly for a number of publications including On Being, Sojourners, and the Huffington Post. Her first book, tentatively titled Confessions of a #Millennial #Minister is currently under contract with Chalice Press. Rev. Bailey is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.