The Santa Clarita Interfaith Council will be hosting the first of a series of interfaith panels entitled “Know Your Neighbors” on Thursday 26 April from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, 22900 Market Street, Newhall.
The event is open to the public and is free . All are encouraged to attend this unique opportunity to experience viewpoints held by the various faiths that share the Santa Clarita Valley.
Confirmed faiths on the panel include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Unitarian Universalism, and Buddhism.
The theme of this first panel is “An Interfaith Overview.” The Council wishes to highlight the differences and similarities among our local faiths and encourage dialogue regarding the various perspectives and traditions held by our neighbors. Should a local disaster or emergency occur, for example, understanding the practices of one’s neighbors should assist in cooperation and mutual support, and endanger trust. Also the Council wishes to encourage faith leadership to work together for the good of our community.
Leon Worden, president of SCVTV, is the moderator of this first forum. Should time allow, the moderator will permit members of the audience to direct specific questions to representatives on the panel.
Interfaith Council President Jonathan Kraut commented “You may be surprised to learn how different the views are among our many faiths in Santa Clarita. The more I have studied our faiths, the more I realize how dissimilar they are. However, differences highlight a need for deeper understanding and appreciation. Being more familiar with the beliefs and traditions of our neighbors not only dispels untrue rumors and misinformation, but draws our community closer together through mutual awareness and respect, creating a deeper trust of one another.”
Since each panel size is limited to 5 or 6 faiths, the many faiths not represented will have an opportunity to post their written answers on the Santa Clarita Interfaith Council site on Facebook. Persons not able to attend the panels who have questions are encouraged to submit these questions through the Facebook site so that they may be used in this or subsequent panels as well.
Formed over 20 years ago, the Santa Clarita Interfaith Council is comprised of local clergy and delegates from faith communities. Active Interfaith participants include: Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Episcopal, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Methodist, Lutheran, Unitarian Universalist, and atheist members.
The purpose of the Council is three-fold: first to bring together faith leadership as collective and therefore is better able to respond to local issues and challenges; second, to support the sharing of various faith philosophies, practices, and traditions; and third, to support community projects that aid the needy and contribute toward the common good.
Upcoming Interfaith Council activities this year include:
26 April – Interfaith Panel #1, 7:00-8:30 pm, Santa Clarita Senior Center
3 May – The National Day of Prayer, 12 noon-12:45pm, East Parking lot next to City Hall
29 May – Interfaith Panel #2, 7:00-8:30 pm, Westfield Mall Community Room (tentative)
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