Interfaith Group Hosts 20th Anniversary Celebration at St. Julia

November 17, 2008

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Wicked Local Wayland

In 1988, incidents within Weston High School indicated the presence of prejudice against some minority groups. In response, the Weston PTO sponsored a workshop "Discrimination in our Midst" after which several attendees and other interested community members met to determine how to improve relationships among people of different faiths.

The result was the formation of the Weston Interfaith Action Group (WIAG). Its mission is "to build community by developing a better understanding, acceptance and appreciation of our individual, cultural and religious differences through education, dialogue and action."

WIAG’s first program, "Facing History and Ourselves," used the history of the Holocaust to explore the causes and effects of universal issues of prejudice. In 1995, the first joint Muslim-Christian-Jewish undertaking was a reading of Karen Armstrong’s book "A History of God." WIAG evolved to WWIAG to acknowledge Jewish and Muslim members worshipping in Wayland.

Over the last 20 years, WWIAG’s 25-person leadership group has planned and offered at least three public educational programs. From time to time, WWIAG has also served as a conduit for interfaith concerns in the community.

Today, WWIAG includes members of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Baha’i faiths and welcomes others to join.

This year, to celebrate its 20 years in the community, WWIAG will present an evening with Dr. Diana Eck, professor of comparative religion and Indian studies at Harvard University. She will address "The Local and the Global: Interfaith Movements and the Future of Pluralism."