OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

“Interfaith Amigos” to address prospect of a new beginning between the U.S. and Muslims

09/01/2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. – In June 2009, President Barack Obama spoke of “a new beginning” between the United States and Muslims around the world, citing one rule at the heart of every religion and culture – that we do to others as we would have them do to us.

Three panelists who go by the title, “Interfaith Amigos,” will address the prospects for success of Obama’s new beginning initiative from Christian, Islamic, Jewish and interfaith perspectives.

The “Interfaith Amigos,” Rabbi Ted Falcon, Pastor Don MacKenzie, and Shaikh Jamal Rahman, will hold a panel discussion on Thursday, Oct. 8, beginning at 7 p.m. at Oregon State University. The free public event will be held at Gilfillan Auditorium, 2601 S.W. Orchard Ave., Corvallis.

The panelists have developed a five-stage interfaith program for church and civic groups, workshops, and talk radio. Their methods are published in the 2009 book, “Getting to the Heart of Interfaith.”

After their collaborative work was featured in the Aug. 26 issue of Christian Century, the Interfaith Amigos have found themselves in even greater demand as speakers and workshop leaders nationally. After more than a year on Interfaith Talk Radio, they are beginning Interfaith Talk Video, to be broadcast on the Seattle Community Action Network and available on demand online. Frequent speakers at churches and civic groups in the Northwest, Rabbi Falcon, Pastor MacKenzie, and Shaikh Rahman bring a message of encouraging greater understanding, compassion, and social action in the world.

Falcon is a popular teacher of Jewish traditions of meditation and spirituality who explores the frontier of interfaith spirituality. Upon moving to Seattle in 1993, he founded Bet Alef Meditative Synagogue.

Mackenzie recently retired as minister and head of staff at University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle. Previously he served congregations in Hanover, N.H., and Princeton, N.J., and he is now devoting his time to interfaith work.

Rahman is the Muslim Sufi Minister at Interfaith Community Church and adjunct faculty at Seattle University. He is author of “The Fragrance of Faith – the Enlightened Heart of Islam.”

The event is part of the Hundere Endowment in Religion and Culture lecture series at Oregon State. The Hundere Endowment in Religion and Culture was started in 1994 through a substantial donation from an OSU alumnus, Al Hundere.