Interfaith Amigos visiting Marietta area for three days in November

Interfaith amigos

The internationally renowned Interfaith Amigos will visit Marietta and other sites in southeast Ohio — including Marietta College — from November 10th through the 12th.

These three clergymen have given their inspiring presentation in the U.S. — from Seattle to New York City — as well as in the Middle East and Japan, and have been featured as TEDx presenters.

The trio is comprised of Jamal Rahman (an Imam of the Islamic Sufi tradition), Don Mackenzie (a United Church of Christ Minister) and Ted Falcon (a rabbi in the Reform Jewish tradition). Since September 11, 2001, these three have dedicated themselves to the promotion of interfaith dialogue through public presentations and workshops. Their goal is to promote cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction among people of different religious faiths.

The first presentation will be at 7:00 p.m., Friday, November 10th, at the Alma McDonough Auditorium. At 10:00 a.m., Saturday, November 11th, there will be a workshop in the Great Room of Andrews Hall. Both of these events are free and open to the public.

In addition, the Interfaith Amigos will give a presentation in Athens at the Multicultural Center (Baker Center 205) on the campus of Ohio University at 7:00 p.m., Saturday, November 11th, and at the Boyd Science Center on the campus of Muskingum University at 2:00 p.m., Sunday, November 12th. These events are also free and open to the public.

During their presentation, the Interfaith Amigos share the promises as well as the challenges related to developing an interfaith dialogue that can support collaborative action in the world. With warmth, humor, and wisdom, they guide an interfaith process that opens their audiences to spiritual treasures that support healing and wholeness.

Their visit to southeast Ohio is sponsored by the Unitarian-Universalist Society of Marietta, the First Presbyterian Church of Marietta, the Unitarian Universalist Society of Athens, the Institute for Learning in Retirement, the Evans Trust Fund, Marietta College, and numerous individual donors. 

The visit, along with preparatory and follow-up activities, has been arranged by the Interfaith Planning Group of Greater Marietta, which is composed of Muslims, Jews, Christians, and people of other faiths. The group has been meeting for 15 months to arrange for the visit by the Interfaith Amigos and develop other events to reinforce their message about the importance of interfaith dialogue. 

The preparatory events have included a course on interfaith dialogue, coordinated by Dr. M.J. Ebenhack, currently being offered through the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Marietta College; a course, “Understanding and Appreciating Islam,” presented at two Marietta congregations: Christ United Methodist Church and the Unitarian Universalist Society; a campus-wide program, “Marietta Reads,” at Marietta College, featuring the first book by the Interfaith Amigos, Getting to the Heart of Interfaith, as its common reading for the current academic year. 

Their second book, Religion Gone Astray: What We Found at the Heart of Interfaith, received a Spirituality & Practice Book Award for one of the best spiritual books of 2011, an honor awarded also to their first book in 2009 and to their third, Finding Peace Through Spiritual Practice, in 2016.