"Why KC Is the Perfect Place for Interfaith Conference," a Commentary by Vern Barnet

May 12, 2009

Author: Vern Barnet

Source: KansasCity.com


Today’s column may not affect your spirit in a very personal way, but it may lift up “Kansas City spirit” by noting a few examples of why the North American Interfaith Network chose Kansas City for its conference June 26-28.

•The group was organized in 1988 at a conference at which more Kansas Citians participated than any other city except the host city, Wichita.

•When our Interfaith Council formed, it was noted for its inclusion of more faiths than many other interfaith groups. Religions from A to Z, American Indian to Zoroastrian, participate here.

•After 9/11, CBS-TV did a half-hour special on how our interfaith leadership responded to the terrorist attacks.

•In 2007, we hosted the first international “Interfaith Academies,” at which a principal researcher for Harvard University’s Pluralism Project, one of the co-sponsors, said, “We consider Kansas City to be truly at the forefront of interfaith relations.”

•And the multifaith Life Connections Program at the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, which brings spiritual resources to inmate rehabilitation, has been called the model for the five pilot programs funded through the faith-based initiative of the federal government.