Interfaith Opportunities
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                                    Neighbors by Kate Forman

ION is

a lay interfaith network

that strengthens
 
communication
 among

 participating religious
 
congregations for

education and

collaboration.

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Rhode Island Church Taking Unusual Step
to Illuminate Its Slavery Role
                                                                        Photo: Charlie Mahoney/NY Times

Providence, R.I. -  Bishop W. Nicholas Knisely, who became Episcopal bishop of Rhode Island in 2012, is taking steps to publicly acknowledge its past.  They include the establishment of a museum focused on the trans-Atlantic slave trade, slavery and the North's complicity, as part of a new center for racial reconciliation and healing.

          "I want to tell the story," Bishop Knisely said, "of how the Episcopal Church and religious voices participated in supporting the institution of slavery and how they worked to abolish it.  It's a mixed bag."

          The museum and reconciliation center are to be housed at the 200-year-old stone Cathedral of St. John, the seat of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island.  Because of dwindling membership, the majestic but deteriorating cathedral was closed in 2012.

          The idea for the museum and reconciliation center grew our of community discussions over what to do with the shuttered cathedral; it has gained new urgency in recent months as numerous cities have erupted in racial unrest.



ION, founded in 2005,


now has 16 participating faith communities:  


Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Unitarian


Hampshire Mosque, Amherst 

Naz Mohamed - ION Convener


South Congregational Church, Amherst 

Lee Bridegam


First Congregational Church, Amherst

Dorothy Cresswell


                    First Congregational Church, Hadley                        
 Urshula Wood  

          
Goodwin Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, Amherst
Judy Brooks

Grace Episcopal Church, Amherst 
Eve Webster


Hope Community Church, Amherst
Scottie Faerber

Melba Larson
 

Jewish Community of Amherst
Frieda Howards

Marian Center, Holyoke
Miriam Najimy, DHM

Mount Toby Friends Meeting, Leverett
Frank Gatti

Newman Center, UMass
Co-Representative Hazel Cardozo
Co-Representative Judith Ortiz

Turkish Cultural Center - Western Massachusetts
 
UMass Rumi Club, Amherst
Havva Ozturk

Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst
Mary Beth Seminario


Wesley United Methodist Church, Hadley
Doris Newton


MEMBERS-AT-LARGE:

Barbara Jenkins, Assistant Convener
Bonny Vaught, Webmaster
Joan Lindeman, Founder
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Check this ION calendar for

Jewish-Christian-Muslim-Unitarian festivals and events

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