The spirit of the Kaufman Interfaith Institute is represented in the cooperative programs held in the community to enlighten, inform, and promote inclusivity.
These events bring together diverse voices and faith traditions to find a common ground while still honoring individual experiences.
Whether it is working with others in the community to host a civilized discussion about polarizing issues or organizing a celebration that welcomes all and encourages learning through differences, the institute has found great success carrying out its mission through these community collaborations.
"Through interfaith dialogue and service, we promote a vibrant and diverse community for all generations. Beyond tolerance, we value hospitality, understanding, respect, and acceptance."
Due to COVID19, our 21st Annual Thanksgiving Celebration happened virtually this year.
Many traditions and cultures came together to give thanks for one another, even in the midst of adversity and division. Through song, dance, prayer, and storytelling we shared gratitude with and for our West Michigan neighbors.
This year our freewill offering benefitted Family Promise, which works to eliminate homelessness in our community.
21st Annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Celebration
Kaufman's Weekly Interfaith Insight
"Are you OK? An important question for today" by Director Doug Kindschi
This past week we all found ways to celebrate Thanksgiving, either by staying home seeking to avoid further COVID spread, or taking the chance of travel in spite of the warnings of rapidly increasing cases and deaths. Lately my influences have come from “across the pond,” the term often used to discuss matters between the United Kingdom and the United States. The recent obituary for Rabbi Jonathan Sacks in the British journal, The Economist, reminded me again of his powerful voice as we seek to respond to the question for our society, “Are we OK?”
The obituary described Rabbi Sacks’ growing concern about our culture’s climate shift from a “we” to the “I” as follows: “Every year the voices became more strident and extreme. Consumerism cried ‘I want! I want!’ Individualism cried ‘Me! Me! My choices, my feelings!’ until even the iPhone and iPad he used all the time vexed him with their ‘I, I, I.’ Society had become a cacophony of competing claims. The world gave every sign of falling apart. Even religion, his business, could be a megaphone of hate.”
Kaufman's Weekly Watch
When Love is the Way - Bishop Michael Curry
This week’s Interfaith Insight discussed the recent article by Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, published in the New York Times. Today’s Weekly Watch is a portion of the sermon delivered by Bishop Michael Curry at her wedding with Prince Harry in 2018.