2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding receives grant

The Grand Rapids Community Foundation has awarded $50,000 to the 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding to provide mini-grants to congregations that will engage in interfaith expressions and activities that encourage interaction with other faith traditions with the goal of understanding.

2012 YIU is a unique partnership led by Grand Valley State University’s Kaufman Interfaith Institute, the Grand Rapids Press, WGVU public media, the Grand Rapids mayor’s office and three organizing councils. Hundreds of events will be sponsored by participating congregations, campuses and community organizations. For more information about participants and upcoming events, visit 2012gr.org, or call (616) 331-5702.

“We are most pleased to receive this grant from the Grand Rapids Community Foundation,” said Douglas Kindschi, director of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley. “The 2012 Year of Interfaith Understanding is a community-wide and year-long project, and currently more than 150 people have pledged to do programs in their congregations that focus on interfaith understanding. The goal of increased understanding will certainly foster community involvement, diversity and ultimately, peace.”

Among upcoming YIU events: WGVU–TV, a media partner for the 2012 YIU initiative, will present the series “God in America” in six, one-hour broadcasts on Sundays at 6 p.m. beginning January 8. Study groups and classes are being formed for viewing and discussion of the series. The series also is available on DVD, as well as a comprehensive study guide through PBS (see pbs.org/godinamerica).

Further information on forming or joining a study group can be found at 2012gr.org.