NOTE: The opening March 3 luncheon-lecture in our Tuesdays-in-March series on "Confronting the Realities of Segregation" has reached the maximum number of reservations the room can hold. We might be able to accommodate some walk-ins due to no-shows and perhaps some creative configuration of chairs, but we cannot guarantee that people without reservations will be able to get entry. There still are openings for other sessions in the series (see lower on this page)
Interfaith Conference and Milwaukee Repertory Theater
Collaborate on "The Amish Project" Talkbacks
Feb. 25th and March 4th
The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee is collaborating with the Milwaukee Repertory Theater to offer special interfaith talkbacks after 7:30 p.m. performances of The Amish Project on Feb. 25 & March 4. Even if you don't attend the performance, you can get free entry to the talkbacks at 8:30 p.m. Discounted tickets are available. (see below)
The Amish Project features actress Deborah Staples playing multiple roles. It is generally based on the shootings of Amish school girls in Pennsylvania by a lone gunman in 2006. One of the most remarkable stories to emerge from the events on which The Amish Project is based is that of the Amish community’s forgiveness of the gunman. The spiritual nature, significance and importance of forgiveness are key in many cultures.
FAITH & FORGIVENESS:(Talkback following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Wednesday, Feb. 25 -- approx. 8:40 p.m.) The Rep and the Interfaith Conference have invited three members of the Greater Milwaukee community whose lives have required them to ask tough questions about their own capacity for forgiveness. This panel discussion will discuss their journeys and the role of faith or spirituality in the process of forgiveness. The panelists are:
Afriqah Imani, participant in the University of Wisconsin Law School’s Restorative Justice Project
Amardeep Kaleka, son of former Oak Creek Sikh Temple President Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was killed in the attack
Marna Winbush, one of the founders of Milwaukee’s Mothers Against Gun Violence
HEALING AS A COMMUNITY: (Talkback following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Wednesday, March 4 -- approx. 8:40 p.m.) On Sunday, August 5, 2012, six members of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, WI, were gunned down during preparation for a Sunday community meal. The Rep and the Interfaith Conference have invited several individuals directly affected by this event to attend a performance of The Amish Project and discuss the tragedy’s effects on their lives, the grieving and healing that have taken place in the 30 months since the event, and the impact on the Oak Creek community. The panelists are:
Pardeep Kaleka, son of former Oak Creek Sikh Temple President Satwant Singh Kaleka, who was killed in the attack
Mayor Steve Scaffidi, Mayor of Oak Creek
Lt. Brian Murphy, of the Oak Creek Police Department, one of the first respondents to the shooting and a survivor of the attack
The play has some challenging language and characters, and is not recommended for children under the age of 14. The talkbacks help add a stronger faith component while rooting the themes in the lived experiences of local people.
Get a 20% discount on tickets for these and other performances of the play by using the promotional code FAITH (excluding Sunday matinees and the last week of the production). The Feb. 25 performance is nearly sold out, but anyone can come to either talkbacks for free. Just arrive by 8:30 p.m. on either date at the Stiemke Studio theater, on the same level as the box office at the Rep's complex, 108 E. Wells St.
For tickets, call the Rep's ticket office: 414-224-9490
NOTE! We have reached the maximum number of reservations the room can accommodate for the March 3 luncheon lecture. We might be able to accommodate some walk-ins due to no-shows and perhaps some creative configuration of chairs, but we cannot guarantee that people without reservations will be able to get entry.
March Luncheon/Lecture Series
to Focus on Segregation
The Interfaith Conference's annual Tuesdays-in-March luncheon/lecture series this year is offering a dynamic lineup of speakers and panelists addressing the theme, "Confronting the Realities of Segregation."
The series, sponsored by Interfaith's
Peace and International Issues Committee,
will be: March 3, 10, 17, 24, 31, 2015
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee – a Unitarian Universalist Congregation1342 N. Astor St., Milwaukee
How does your faith inspire you
to treat the stranger?
More than 160 people of a wide variety of faiths crowded into the sanctuary of Unitarian Universalist Church West in Brookfield on Sunday afternoon, Jan. 25, 2015 for a program jointly organized by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee's Committee for Interfaith Understanding and the Brookfield-Elm Grove Interfaith Network (BEGIN) and titled "An Interfaith Experience: How does your faith inspire you to treat the stranger?" Representatives of 13 denominations and faiths gave mini-presentations. Then there was a break for refreshments, including home-made ethnic treats, followed by lively small-group dialoguing at tables. The crowd was so large that extra tables needed to be set up in the foyer.
In addition to Evangelical, Protestant and Roman Catholic Christianity, the other faiths represented in the presenations were: Baha'i, Buddhism, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon), Evangelical Christian, Protestant Islam, Islamic Sufism, Judaism, Sikhism, Unitarian Universalism and Zoroastrianism.
More than 250 people of many faiths
have vibrant small-group dialogues
at 2014 Annual Luncheon
The more than 250 people of many faiths, ethnicities and cultures who came to the Italian Community Center for the Interfaith Conference's 44th annual luncheon on December 4 were much more than "attendees." They were fully engaged "participants" as they shared personal stories of their lived experiences of faith or philosophy at each table.
This was a remarkable luncheon, one that reached beyond staid, conventional program models.
Instead of having a keynote speaker, we had people get a taste of our highly successful Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue Program by having a half hour of moderated discussions at each table using an appreciative listening process that evokes deep sharing.
Instead of having faith groups and organizations purchase tables and sit with their own people, we dispersed people throughout the ballroom to achieve diversity at every table. People truly had personal, interfaith experiences that bridged differences and fostered understanding and friendship.
Dr. Rob Shelledy, Interfaith Conference Cabinet chair and the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's Social Justice Ministry Coordinator, was the emcee. Tonen O'Connor, resident priest emerita of the Milwaukee Zen Center, opened the luncheon with this reflection:
"I'm most appreciative of this opportunity to offer a reflection as the invocation before today's luncheon, and of course the first thing we should share is our gratitude for the food we are about to eat, and our thanks to all those who had a hand in its journey to our table. Food has deep spiritual meaning within all faith traditions, and it is in this spirit that we offer our thanks.
"We gather together today as people of faith with trust that the deep divisions in our society can be healed. Within Buddhism there is an understanding that self and other are in truth, one being, inextricably interrelated, and that all beings are equal participants in this universe. This is what I ask you to consider today. Let us pledge to eliminate those deeply divisive words, "us" and "them" and replace them with "we," and thus take a small step forward toward an end to racial disparity, racial distrust, religious conflict, riots, poverty and the death of children.
"May the word "we" rise in our hearts so that we will look upon others and see ourselves. Recently in Istanbul, Pope Francis prayed that we may "overcome misunderstandings, divisions and disagreements and be a credible sign of unity and peace." The important word here is "credible." Lip service is not enough.
Please join me in a moment of silence within which we consecrate this meal to our determination to step past divisions and bring into being a credible "we.".........................................................................Thank you.
We also gave awards to two exceptional individuals and two highly commedable organizations.
2014 AWARD RECIPIENTS
Frank Zeidler Award Rabbi Ronald Shapiro
For his leadership in social justice and interfaith relations, from his time as a rabbinical student and summer urban intern working with Fr. James Groppi’s National Welfare Rights Organization to his service as senior rabbi of Congregation Shalom over the past 36 years.
Rev. Herbert Huebschmann Urban Ministry Award CORE/El Centro
For providing natural healing therapies that transform the body, mind and spirit of people who could not otherwise afford these services, while forming community and breaking down barriers of social isolation and ethnic, racial and cultural separation.
Mark Rohlfing Memorial Award Debbie Karow
For her outstanding service as a teacher who advocates for and exemplifies commitment to providing special education students in the Milwaukee Public Schools with an education that will afford a future for them within a society that does not always accept their challenges.
Youth/Young Adult Leadership Award Marquette University Campus Ministry’s “Midnight Run”
For this student-led initiative’s 26 years of service to the hungry and homeless in Milwaukee through advocacy, awareness building and weekly volunteering by more than 150 students
at 12 meal programs and shelters throughout the area.
(For news coverage of the prayer service, see: In the Media)
With conflict escalating in the Middle East, local religious leaders and adherents gathered for an interfaith Prayer Service for Peace in the Middle East at 5 p.m. Wednesday, July 16, in All Saints’ Cathedral, Milwaukee.
The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee organized the service to unite people of many different faiths and denominations in the vision of a world where peace is possible and violence is not inevitable.
In every age and every hour, there are opportunities for diplomacy to defuse conflict, for wisdom to temper anger, for forgiveness to forestall vengeance and for faith to foster what is highest and best in the human spirit. Local leaders offered prayers and stood together, unified in their diversity, as an example of what is possible.
The service concluded with the singing of Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant us Peace), in Latin, Hebrew and Arabic.
Muslim Film Festival
The Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition has launched the first Milwaukee Muslim Film Festival, with screenings from now through April at: the Oriental Theatre, the Milwaukee Art Museum’s Lubar Auditorium and the UWM Theatre in the university’s student union. For more information
The Nazi Officer's Wife Sunday, March 15 @ 4pm
Angela Schluter will give a free public talk about her experiences and those of her mother, Edith Hahn Beer, who told the true story of surviving World War II by hiding her religious identity and marrying a Nazi in her autobiography, "The Nazi Officer's Wife." The event is from 4 to 6 p.m. at Congregation Shalom, 7630 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Fox Point. It is co-sponsored by the Holocaust Education Resource Center. For more information
Free Screening of
Gun Violence Film
March 19, Noon to 2 p.m.
The Presbytery of Milwaukee and Immanuel Presbyterian Church are inviting the interfaith community to a brown-bag lunch screening of the documentary film, Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence, followed by a conversation with the writer and director afterward,
1100 N. Astor St.
Call: (414) 276-4757
Faith & Ecology:
Every 3rd Tuesday
March 17th, 7:00-8:30pm
This month's topic: Sacred Water
Free & open to the public!
Urban Ecology Center, Riverside
For more information,
email Kirsten Shead
This series invites persons of all faiths and spiritualities to gather
to reflect upon and converse about
a chosen word for the month.
We will have topics that respond
to seasonal/calendar events to
draw us all into reflection and conversation on how faith and spirituality intersect with our
lives and the natural world.
Please note that sometimes the
third Tuesday falls on a day that
has special significance to a particular faith tradition.
We mean no harm but have a commitment for that time slot.
8-12 people of any faith or spiritual background, or none at all, share a meal in an intimate space and discuss their beliefs and experiences in a moderated format that makes them feel safe and welcome.