Join the us at 9:00 AM on Tuesday, April 14
At Temple Israel, 13111 Sterling Ridge Drive
For a Special Announcement about the
Future of the Tri-Faith Initiative.
Aren’t able to make it?
Click the link below to create a Livestream account and watch the Media Conference live.
Of Many: Film Streams and the Tri-Faith Initiative announce a special screening of a film about interfaith fellowship.
On Tuesday, February 24, at 7 pm, Film Streams, in collaboration with the Tri Faith Initiative of Omaha, Nebraska , will present a special screening of OF MANY at the Ruth Sokolof Theater, followed by a panel discussion. The documentary tells the story of the journey of an imam and rabbi working toward common ground , and ultimately toward one another.
Set against the dramatic backdrop of violence in the Middle East and the tension between Jewish and Muslim students on college campuses, OF MANY focuses on the surprising and transformative relationship between an orthodox rabbi and an imam who serve as university chaplains in New Yark City. Through a series of voyages to communities struck by catastrophe , we witness young religious Jews and Muslims working together and overcoming long-standing divides. Timely and humorous , this short documentary offers an inspiring and hopeful narrative in the face of a seemingly irreconcilable conflict.
Born out of a series of conversations stretching back to early 2010 , The Of Many Institute for Multifaith Leadership (OM) was officially launched in January of 2012 by co-founders Chelsea Clinton , Khalid Latif , Linda Mills , and Yehuda Sarna. It was created in support of the remarkably large and diverse religious community of students at New York University (NYU) and in recognition of the growing commitment from students, faculty, and alumni seeking to build a world in which multifaith dialogue and work are fostered , respected , and supported. Working closely with students, the Of Many Institute concentrates on developing cross-cultural leadership experiences , by developing a multifaith space that creates harmonious relationships. The central focus of the project is not simply talking through the differences but building common experiences.
Following this one-time showing at the Ruth Sokolof Theater , 1340 Mike Fahey St., will be a panel discussion with leaders from the Tri-Faith Initiative and area students. Tickets for this screening are $9 general, $7 for seniors, students, teachers, military , and those arriving by bicycle, and $4.50 for Film Streams Members. Advance tickets can be purchased at http:/ Ii.mp/153EhNT or through the Film Streams Box Office in person or at 402-933-0259 x15.
My Brothers and Sisters –
I write to offer an update regarding the current status of the Christian presence in the Tri-Faith Initiative, and in particular, to report on conversations now in progress with Countryside Community Church in Omaha.
As you know, the Diocese of Nebraska, and our current Christian congregation at Tri-Faith, have been seeking partners to help bolster the Christian Tri-Faith presence for some time. Partly that’s been about excitement regarding building an ecumenical Church community on the Tri-Faith campus. As importantly, we’ve sought partners to ensure that a lively, and large Christian presence gets built on the campus. We’ve known for some time that the Episcopal Church in Nebraska is too small to do this all on our own. As a result of our prayer, conversation and discernment around partnering, we officially added the Lutheran Church (ELCA – Nebraska Synod) to the mix about a year and a half ago. Since that time the Lutherans have supported our efforts of church-building through clergy help, lay engagement, the gift of free church worship space, and cash donations. I am sure I speak for all of us in offering my deep thanks to our ELCA partners for all they’ve contributed to our efforts!
While the addition of our ELCA sisters and brothers has enriched our ministry in many ways, we are still not strong enough as a Christian community to build a church on the Tri-Faith campus worthy of this endeavor. With this in mind, I had an informal conversation with Eric Elnes, Senior Pastor of Countryside Community Church, to explore together the prospect that Countryside might be interested in sharing in leadership of the Tri-Faith Initiative, thereby bringing the resources of a large, extant Christian congregation – with a wonderful history of interfaith engagement – to the table. Eric was very open to conversation and prayer about the prospect. In time, that conversation spread at Countryside Community Church.
Here’s where we are today…
The people of Countryside are engaged in a 40 day period of discernment about whether to accept our invitation to share in leading the Tri-Faith Initiative. Our invitation to Countryside to join in the effort was very broad. The various church leaders who gathered to imagine together how Countryside might join in this work were of the mind that Countryside’s willingness to consider moving to the campus as a congregation, and taking the lead in raising the funds to build a church structure, would effectively and appropriately mean that the torch was being passed to Countryside as chief leader of the Christian Tri-Fath presence. While the Episcopalians and Lutherans involved desire to continue supporting this ministry in every way, we are ready to surrender our place at the head of the table in order to see that a great Church is build on the Tri-Fatih campus as soon as possible. The people of Countryside are still very much in discernment about whether and how to participate in leading the Tri-Faith Initiative. They will vote as a congregation on the matter in late June, and I am sure they covet our prayers for a result that is in accord with the will of the Spirit.
In the meantime, our Christian Congregation at Tri-Fath continues to weekly meet at Rejoice Lutheran Church. The people of Countryside have indicated their hope that if they assume leadership in the Tri-Faith Initiative, the current congregation will continue worshipping at Countryside’s address both now and in the future, and remain an important constituency in interfaith outreach and ministry at Tri-Faith.
I am so grateful for the interest, the passion and the hard, hard work that so many of you have offered in support of the Tri-Faith vision. With you, I remain committed to that vision, and I stand ready to do whatever is necessary to ensure that we realize this dream together, and soon!
Faithfully Yours in Christ –
The Right Rev. J Scott Barker
Bishop of Nebraska
Members of the Christian Presence on the Tri-Faith campus had the opportunity to attend a beautiful Interfaith Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, Nov. 24 at Temple Israel. The Interfaith Thanksgiving service is a long-held tradition which began with Temple Israel and a few mid-town area churches. Four years ago the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture (AIISC) joined the tradition. This year Temple Israel hosted First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), First United Methodist Church, Hanscom Park United Methodist Church, St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church, and Underwood Hills Presbyterian Church in addition to the AIISC.
The theme this year was “Seasons of Change” which was appropriate as we met at the new Temple Israel, the first building completed on the Tri-Faith Campus. We gave thanks to God for all that we have, for growth that is occurring, and for fond memories of times no longer with us. There was beautiful music from a combined choir and First United Methodist’s hand-bell choir. We shared scripture from all three faiths and prayed together. There was an offering and a non-perishable food collection donated to Together, Inc. We were pleased to thank God for our gifts, our shelter, our food and families, and we were charged to remember those who are unemployed, cold, hungry or lonely. Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Meet with Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders of the Tri-faith Initiative in Omaha for an update on this exciting project and a workshop on how your church can engage in interfaith and ecumenical work to build bridges of respect and understanding among people of different faith traditions.
These workshops are open to all, but especially clergy, lay leaders and religious educators of Episcopal and ELCA Lutheran Churches across Nebraska. If this time and location are not convenient, there will be additional workshops in Norfolk and Omaha in the coming months and video resources as well.
Our next presentation of Tri-Faith on the Road will be held Saturday, September 28th from 10:00am – 1:30pm at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Kearney. Lunch is provided.
Please register for this event by going to either the Episcopal Tri-Faith website: www.episcopaltrifaith.org or the Tri-Faith Initiative site: www.trifaith.org. Or click on the following link: Tri-Faith on the Road Registration
Bring a friend and join us!
Saturday, September 28th
10:00 am – 1:30 pm
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
2304 2nd Ave