Headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Center for Interfaith Cooperation (CIC), works to create an environment for meaningful engagement and peaceful dialogue between and among a wide variety of faith communities. This podcast seeks to record the stories of CIC Board members representing the Jain, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Protestant, Pagan, Church of Latter-day Saints, Buddhist, Ba'haí, Catholic, and Hindu religious traditions. Each individual brings a unique, enriching story, so tune in to begin "de-othering" unfamiliar faith communities. Music: LXtronic "Run Away (Stay With Me)" ft. Masia
Canon Bruce Gray is an Episcopal priest who currently serves at the Holy Family Episcopal Church. He discusses important interfaith relationships past and present, in addition, to shedding light on the Episcopal tradition.
Ala'a Wafa is a practicing Muslim, and she addresses some common misconceptions that she experiences as a Muslim woman. Also, throughout her life, interfaith relationships have been highly valued, and they have influenced her decision to be an attorney.
Daniel Meyers is ordained within the United Church of Christ denomination, and he is now the Executive Director at the Center for Faith and Vocation at Butler University. He emphasizes the idea of uncertainty when it comes to religion and embraces a curious mentality when he encounters different faith traditions.
Imam Saahir is the imam at Nur-Allah Islamic Center, and he discusses the influential role Elijah Muhammad played in his faith. Imam Saahir also explains his experience during the Civil Rights Movement, and how racism currently affects him. Turn up your volume and pay attention to his incredible story.
Reverend Bruce Garrison is a pastor at the Dwelling Place in Indianapolis, which blends Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox traditions. He loves to travel and thrives off being exposed to different cultures. He has had several immersive experiences abroad which have impacted his view of the world and interfaith dialogue more specifically.
Dr. Pierre Atlas adds to the interfaith dialogue with a Jewish voice, and he sheds light on the rise of anti-Semitism, which he has experienced at his own synagogue. In addition, Dr. Pierre Atlas is a comparative political scientist, so with this knowledge, he offers a unique understanding of religious conflict.
Betty Brandt is involved with the ministry at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, and she discusses how influential travel has been in her faith journey and pursuit of interfaith dialogue. Furthermore, in February the United Methodist Church discussed their policies regarding the LGBTQ community, and Betty highlights St. Luke's inclusive approach despite any of these rulings.
Reverend Brian Shivers is at Second Presbyterian Church, and he gives a great theological perspective on how to approach interfaith dialogue and maintain the distinct qualities of different faiths. He also discusses how encounters with other faith traditions has strengthened his particular practice and understanding of Christianity.
Muzaffar Ahmad is a part of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community, and he discusses the necessity of interfaith dialogue through a story of how religious conflict has directly affected the livelihood of his family. Also, he is an immigrant to the United States from Pakistan, so he gives an insightful comparison between the two countries.
Jim Cotterill opens up about a life-altering event that affected his pursuit of the Christian faith. As a result, he created a nonprofit organization called UNITE INDY that tackles issues at the local level surrounding racism, poverty, etc.
Uzma Kazmi speaks from her perspective as a Muslim in the wake of horrific events, such as the 9/11 attacks and the recent New Zealand massacre. She sees the necessity in surrounding herself with diversity and has lived a life that truly follows that model.
Chris Melton attends Second Presbyterian Church and volunteers closely with St. Luke's Methodist Church. After she took a trip to Israel and Palestine, she felt the urgency to join in interfaith dialogue. She is new to the CIC, but she is ready to engage.
Dr. Anita Joshi is very involved in the Hindu community within Indianapolis, and she takes the time to address common misconceptions surrounding her faith. She is also passionate about passing hate crimes legislation in Indiana and speaks from its position in the legislative process as of the Fall of 2018.
Don Knebel has been with the board from the beginning and has largely contributed to its formation. He offers a Presbyterian voice and is extremely passionate about preserving the differences found in each religion so they remain distinct. According to Don, true interfaith dialogue can occur when each religion is respected in this manner.
Reverend Anastassia Zinke is the senior minister at All Souls Unitarian Church, and she offers a unique perspective as a Unitarian Universalist. Reverend Zinke also discusses female empowerment and how women have shaped the Church.
Judge Shaheed opens up about his faith journey from Christianity to Islam. He has also been involved with the Center for Interfaith Cooperation from the beginning and discusses the importance of exposing oneself to differences.
Ashley Wagner represents the Pagan community, but she is Wiccan herself. She has the large responsibility of explaining Paganism which is an unfair role, since no one can speak on behalf of their entire faith. Tune in to learn more about this community so that we can be better advocates for all religions.
Charlie Wiles is the current Executive Director of the Center for Interfaith Cooperation. He also formed this organization in 2011 with help from other board members. In addition, he adds a Catholic perspective to the interfaith dialogue and is very open about his faith journey as he details informative stories, which have influenced his desire to build bridges and encourage peace amongst differences.