Louisburg Woman Leads Interfaith Council

January 21, 2009

Author: Kurt Kloblen

Source: Louisburg Herald

http://www.herald-online.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=827:louisburg-woman-leads-interfaith-council&catid=1:community-news&Itemid=27

It might sound like the start of a joke: What happens when a Pagan, Hindu, Buddhist and Christian sit down at a table?

But when members of 15 different religions sit down in Kansas City, they are part of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, a place to help understand other religions and to increase tolerance for all religions, according to the group’s goals.

“The whole idea is to really encourage interfaith dialogue,” said Lama Chuck Stanford, of the Rime Buddhist Institute and council member. “In this world that is becoming so fragmented and really divides people, we want to bring people together.”

Religions included in the council are American Indian Spirituality, Baha’i, Buddhism, Orthodox Christian, Protestant Christian, Roman Catholic, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Paganism, Sikhism, Sufism, Unitarian Universalism, Vedanta and Zoroastrianism.

The group also has at-large members and alternates from a number of faiths.

The group, formed in 1989 by the Rev. Vern Barnet, worked under the name Center for Religious Experience and Study until 2005, when Barnet moved on and the group organized itself into an official nonprofit group.

The group used proceeds from the event to hire its first staff person, Executive Director Shannon Clark, in June 2008.

Clark, a Louisburg resident, has tried to help push forward the organization in a number of ways.