By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Faith community leaders are invited to participate in the first Interfaith Alliance Community Conversations Facebook Live event on Monday, April 20, from 5:30-7 p.m. The conversation, co-sponsored by Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, Respect Diversity Foundation, and Oklahoma City Women’s Interfaith Group, will take place via ZOOM on the Interfaith Alliance Facebook page at facebook.com/InterfaithOK.
During the event, more than fifteen interfaith leaders with respond to the question “Why do we engage to understand each other better?
Participants will include: Dr. Carl Rubenstein, Judaism; Mike and Joan Korenblit, Respect Diversity; Iman Dr. Imad Enchassi, Islam; Sherry Sullivan, Esq, Christianity; Rabbi Abby Jacobson, Judaism; Ms. Bonnie Livesay Karim, Islam; Dr. Mari Fagin, Judaism; Ms. Sarah Bushman, Christianity (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints); Dr. Julia Phillips, Judaism; Rev. David Wheeler, Christianity (United Church of Christ); Dr. Lopa Basu, Hinduism; Patrick McGuigan, Christianity (Catholic); Dr. Rashna Battliwaia, (Zoroastrianism); The Rev. Janie Kirt Morris, Christian (Episcopalian); The Rev. Kris Ladusau, Buddhist; and Dr. Naila Aziz, Islam.
“I am so grateful to the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma, Respect Diversity Foundation, and Oklahoma City Women’s Interfaith Group for organizing a ZOOM community conversation in memory of my father, Dr. Mohammad Ali Matto,” Dr. Khan posted on Facebook.
“My father, a devout Muslim, revered every faith tradition and taught me the value of pluralism and tolerance. Nothing would have made him happier than to see our diverse and incredible community come together to celebrate his life.
“Our friends of various faith traditions readily agreed to participate in this conversation, which was heart-warming to say the least,” Khan added. “I am particularly appreciative of the impresario skills of Noel Jacobs. This wouldn’t have been possible without him.”
The Interfaith Alliance is a non-partisan, grassroots organization dedicated to promoting the positive, healing role of faith in civic life and challenging intolerance and extremism.
For more information, visit tiaok.org.
On Thursday, April 23, from 3 – 4 p.m., the Wellness Now / Faith-Based Community COVID conversation will be hosted online by the Oklahoma County Health Department, the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the Tulsa Health Department and the American Heart Association-Oklahoma City.
The Wellness Now Coalition Faith-Based Work Group and the American Heart Association-Oklahoma City are working locally with medical experts, community leaders, businesses and families to provide faith communities with accurate information to reduce the impact of COVID-19.
In a letter sent last week to local clergy, Rev. Daniel U’Ren, Senior Minister at Western Oaks Christian Church (DOC) asked the following questions: “Do you have questions about the Coronavirus and the impact on faith communities? Are you wondering how your faith community should respond, or how to care for others while protecting yourself? How do you address the fears and anxieties associated with the virus?
“The impact of this virus on our faith communities is very real and serious,’ Rev. U’Ren said. “Faith communities need the facts to make the best decisions possible to care for their congregations.
“As the chairperson of Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s Faith-based committee of the Wellness Now Coalition, I have brought together OKC-County Dept. of Health, Tulsa County Dept. of Health, the State Dept. Of Health and the American Heart Association to do a presentation for clergy and faith communities along with an opportunity for questions and answers,” U’Ren continued.
“Hope you can join us on Zoom for this important conversation,” U’Ren said.
To attend the Faith Based Community COVID conversation, RSVP with your questions to Steven Embree at [email protected], who will send you the Zoom link for the live broadcast.