We believe that education is the foundation of interfaith understanding and friendship. Our educational programs are an informal, interactive way to learn about the Detroit area’s diverse religion and encourage connections among those of different faiths and ethnicities. Exploring Religious Landscapes and Ask a…. (See details below) are two educational series that highlight different individual faiths.
Additional programs have focused on such topics as the musical traditions of different religions, creation stories, and religious perspectives on organ donation. Our adult education programs are usually held at a house of worship and are provided free to the community.
Community Engagement and Conciliation
Through individual and organizational relationships, the InterFaith Leadership Council strives to develop and support a community that respects religious freedoms for all:
- We continually work to enhance positive connections among metro Detroit’s faith-based groups through dialogue and educational programs.
- When local religious groups and congregations have experienced bigotry through speech or discriminatory acts, we have participated in protests and publicly condemned such actions. To be indifferent is not an option.
- Our board members have helped mediate inter-religious and inter-ethnic conflicts such as controversies about the Muslim call to prayer and the construction of a mosque in a Detroit suburb.
Exploring Religious Landscapes and Ask a… Programs
Many of us do not have the opportunity to learn first-hand about religions other than our own, which can lead to misinformation and stereotyping. Exploring Religious Landscapes and Ask a … enable participants to learn about specific religious beliefs and practices directly from their adherents. Programs for Exploring Religious Landscapes have featured individual panels of Muslim and Hindu women and youth, and perspectives on women’s image in Christianity.
Ask a …. features several individuals from a specific religious group who answer audience questions about their faith and customs. The atmosphere is friendly, open and informal. Recent programs have included Ask a Latter day saint, Ask a Sikh and Ask a Jewish Person.
Religious Leaders Forum
The Religious Leaders Forum of Metropolitan Detroit is a gathering of diverse senior faith leaders who believe that the significant moral and social values of their respective religions are important considerations for our entire community. They share an unshakeable belief that the grace of God is abundant in our community.
Since 2010, Forum participants have met quarterly to foster mutual respect and to seek ways that their collective influence might help the metropolitan Detroit community to thrive and prosper. They have focused on such issues as literacy, household energy/warmth and the moral imperative of providing water to all households.
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The World Sabbath was developed 21 years ago by several local clergy who wanted to highlight that God is a God of peace and that all faiths are called upon to build a world of tolerance and justice. The World Sabbath of Religious Reconciliation is an interfaith service with music and prayers of many faiths. Local congregations of several different denominations have hosted this event that welcomes children and adults from many communities in the Detroit area.
A procession by the Children of Peace with their handmade peace banners is a highlight of this celebration of interfaith goodwill and hope.