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Interfaith Council connects with panels

Posted: June 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Real Life Church Pastor Steve Whitney, left, shares evangelical Christian views with J. D. Hall, who discusses the Islamic views, during a recent discussion organized by The SCV Interfaith Council.

 

The Santa Clarita Valley Interfaith Council has launched a four-part series of panel discussions with the goal of bringing many faiths together for a series of community workshops.

Two discussions were held April 24 and May 29, discussing an overview of various faiths and the topics of family and marriage. Some of the panelists involved represented the communities of Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, evangelical Christianity, United Methodist and Unitarian Universalism.

“These panels invite people to find out more about the world they live in and find their own faith,” Interfaith Council President Jonathan Kraut said. “We are finding ways to connect our faith community together.”

Kraut explained the goal of the council and the panels is to create dialogue among the different faiths and hold discussions, such as these, to help eliminate misunderstanding and misinformation.

During the panels, some questions are preselected for each panelist to answer; leaving time for questions from the audience.

“Every religion has something to offer to humanity,” Interfaith Council Secretary Eric Felker said.

The theme of the panels, “getting to know your neighbor,” also focuses on fostering a community response to needs, issues and emergencies.

Over time, the council has changed along with its leaders; but one thing has remained the same, the council continues to build cooperative efforts and foster understanding.

“We just don’t understand one another,” said council Treasurer and Vice President Rev. Stan Fix. “Without understanding, there becomes an intolerance and strife.”

The council plans to expand the number of groups that are represented, hoping to attract every faith organization to participate, and will continue to be a part of community events.

“It is a beautiful thing to see persons with such rich diversity come together to seek to understand one another and work together on common goals for the benefit of the Santa Clarita Valley,” Fix said.

The panels are open to the public and free of charge. The next two panels are scheduled for Sept. 11 and Oct. 23. Visit the Santa Clarita Valley Interfaith Council Facebook page for more details.

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