Interfaith Studies Program Set for ’09

December 13, 2008

Author: Sarah Sutschek

Source: Northwest Herald

Why are Pagan symbols allowed on military tombstones? What do American Indians mean by “medicine”? What is the relationship between faith and eating?

A coalition of McHenry County faith communities has developed a two-year certification program to respond to questions such as these.

“Our area is becoming increasingly diverse, both ethnically and religiously,” said Budd Friend-Jones, senior minister at First Congregational Church of Crystal Lake. “We’re wanting to become more informed, more cosmopolitan, about our beliefs.”

The organizers describe the classes, called Faith to Faith, Face to Face, as more rigorous than Sunday school but less demanding than a university program.

Participants will learn about the beliefs, practices, history and texts of various world faith traditions including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism.

Baha’i, Native American and Sikhism also will be explored.

Participants will visit and, to the degree allowed, observe and participate in the rituals, worship, or prayers of the different faith communities.