This spring, St. James’ Episcopal Church, with Loudoun Interfaith Bridges as cosponsor, will host a six-week series, “Six Voices, Six Faiths,” which we hope will stimulate interfaith dialogue and advance interfaith understanding. This series is an outgrowth of conversations among LIB members which began last September, and is our first such effort. Loudoun Interfaith BRIDGES brings together communities of different faiths to collectively address common challenges, and build bridges of understanding and respect between diverse religious and ethnic entities.
The series will be held in the Fellowship Hall at St. James’ Episcopal Church (14 Cornwall Street, NW, Leesburg) on six consecutive Thursdays from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. The dates and discussion leaders are:
- April 23, Rabbi Michael Ragozin of Congregation Sha’are Shalom
- April 30, Rev. Kate Bryant of St. James’ Episcopal Church
- May 7, Rev. Anya Sammler of Unitarian Universalists of Sterling
- May 14, Sheikha Farhanahz Ellis of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society
- May 21, Sher Singh, Sikh Community
- May 28, Mercedeh Izadi of the Northern Virginia Baha’i Center
This series is designed for adults from high school age and above, and will be open to members of our respective faith communities, as well as the general public. Registration will be required, and participants will be able to register either via snail mail or eregistration on the St. James’ website (www.stjamesleesburg.org). While there is no cost to register, a $25 contribution per person is suggested to help defray program costs. In registering, participants are signing up for all six sessions; registering for individual sessions will be discouraged. The registration deadline is Thursday, April 16.
The format of the evening is: From 7:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., attendees will gather for food and fellowship. The food will be prepared by members of the community whose faith is being discussed. Discussion will begin at 7:30 p.m. and conclude at 9:00 p.m. They are in the process of finalizing but St. James’ should be able to offer childcare.
Among the issues that might be discussed at each session are: the history of the development of your religion, your faith tradition’s core beliefs and practices, the sacred texts for your faith and how they are applied to corporate worship and daily living, the process of initiation into your faith, and your faith’s understanding of what happens at death. However, each discussion leader need not be limited to these issues, and will shape his/her respective content.