Photos and reports are arranged by monthKing Holiday Essay — 2018 Jan 15
Coffee, 4th Wednesdays 8 am
Candlemas 2018 Feb 2 Fri 7pm — see below
What is Islam?2018 March 4 Resurrection Lutheran Church, 9100 Mission Rd
Eliot's Four Quartets 2018 March 13 Tom Brous speaks on his book
Meeting Paul Knitter 2018 April 20
in a Pluralistic World C-RP511 — Vern teaches the graduate
Kansas City Mayor Sly James
King Holiday Essay — 2018 Jan 15
Download a PDF of Vern's 2-page summary of the genius of the spiritual approach of Martin Luther King Jr by clicking this link.
Candlemas 2018 Feb 2 Fri 7pm — honoring many faiths
:: A complimentary reception hosted by the Central Seminary
:: An exhibition of art in the rare Saint John's Bible
:: Organ pieces performed by Paul Meier on the Gabriel Kney Pipe Organ
:: The Sacred Arts Chorale performing the complete Missa Pange Lingua by Josquin des Prez (1450?–1521) -- Kyrie, Gloria | Credo, Sanctus, Agnus Dei
:: Guitar, ud, and other music performed by Beau Bledsoe
:: Poetry from Wm Shakespeare, George Herbert, John Donne, T S Eliot, W H Auden, and Vern Barnet, with actor Eddie Straub
:: Of course, the full candle-lighting ceremony, incense, asperges
CLICK ON THE BURNING CANDLES or HERE FOR A FULL REPORT
Evolution Weekend 2018 Feb 9-11— report pending
What is Islam?
2018 March 4 Sunday 9:15 am
Resurrection Lutheran Church, 9100 Mission Rd
Dr Vern Barnet discussed our indebtedness to Islam and answered questions, in an informative hour classroom setting.
The session began with this "Quiz to Initiate Discussion
Eliot's Four Quartets Promoted
Brous spoke at the Retired Clergy Luncheon March 13. T.S. Eliot’s “Four
Quartets” may be the most important religious poem since Dante's Divine
Comedy, Brous suggested, and like Dante, even with the Comedy's
beauty and power, discovering the depths of its meaning its not easy.
Distinguished theologian Paul F Knitter visited Colonial Congregational Church in Prairie Village 2018 April 20 and spoke on "Attitudes toward the Religious Other: The Christian Landscape," ways Christians can approach thinking about those of other faiths.
Vern had a chance to speak briefly with him before his presentation and mentioned that his 2002 book, Introducing Theologies of Religion, is one of the sources for Vern's class, "Ministry in a Pluralistic World," at Central Seminary.
Vern also commented during the forum after the lecture. One point of discussion was the difficulty of one person representing an entire faith tradition with its many historical and contemporary expressions. Vern noted that the Kansas City Interfaith Council was organized in 1989 not with representatives of 13 faiths, but with 13 people from different faith backgrounds, thus avoiding this easy trap. Even Christians forget that their faith today might be very different from another Christian's faith across the street (even within Protestantism, not to mention Catholicism or Orthodoxy) or in other parts of the world; and historical development is seldom recognized -- a Southern Baptist today may be very different from one 50 years ago.
Thanks to Jen Greene for these photos.2018 April 30, Stephen Prothero and Vern discuss the merits of Prothero's 2010 book, God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World—and Why Their Differences Matter, which Vern is using as one of several texts at Central Seminary. Another member of the audience at the annual Religious Studies lecture at KU happened to have a copy of the 2011 column Vern had written about the book and showed it to them. Prothero signed Vern's copy of his new book, Why Liberals Win (Even When They Lose Elections). Prothero's lecture reviewed his earlier and continuing concern about American religious illiteracy, about which he wrote in his 2007 Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know--And Doesn't.
Prothero's website is http://stephenprothero.com/.
2018 May 7 – July 27 — Mondays 6-9:45pm CDT [2017-2018 "Easter" term]
2018 Aug 27 – Nov 19 – Tuesdays 6-9:45p CT ["Ordinary" term]
The graduate credit course C-RP511 is held via Zoom and at
Central Seminary 6601 Monticello Road, Shawnee, KS 6226-3513.
DISCOVERING PRESUPPOSITIONS ABOUT OTHER FAITHS -- AND OUR OWN
B. LEARNING ABOUT OTHER
C. ENCOUNTERING FOLKS OF
During the May 14 class (hosted on this occasion
locally by HJ's Youth and Community Center, a facility of St Andrew's Episcopal
Church) which included two remote students, a reflection appeared on the
monitor behind Vern and a student particularly apt with electronics as
well as religion, captured Vern making some obscure theological point as
if he were holding a light saber for emphasis. Vern denies that he is an
incarnation of Obi-Wan Kenobi, but is disappointed that the electonics
seemed to obscure his halo which too few can discern in any circumstance,
anyhow. Maybe as the technology improves . . . .
June 4 Rabbi Moti Rieber, head of Kansas Interfaith Action, visited the class to discuss his work. The inset is a quick figure to illustrate the process of gaining support for policy positions, and generated a wonderful controversy. Our guest expemplifies one form of interfaith work, action, which might be contrasted with interfaith educational programs.
June 11 our guest was Maggie Finefrock, head of
The Learning Project and CRES Chief Learning Officer, is a veteran of many
pilgrimages, including the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, and most recently,
a 300-mile pilgrimage observing the bicentennial of St. Rose Philippine
Duchesne (1769-1852) 's Society of the Sacred Heart. She. presented two
tables of items relating to the practice of pilgrimage, elicted and responded
to questions from the class deepening our understanding of what a pilgrimage
is and is not, and introduced us to material on the chart she presented.
From yearning God conceived and teemed the world
-- "The Purpose of Sex"Congratulations to the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council for its uplifting "Table of Faiths" dinner 2018 May 8 at the Overland Park Convention Center -- and to award recipients, Jewish Vocational Services (Table of Faiths Award) with Hilary Cohen Singer, and Mindy Corporon and Melinda Coproran -- "Faith Always Wins" (Steve Jeffers Leadership Service Award). The program, chaired by the Rev Kelly Isola, included inspiring speakers Bill Tammeus, Aisha Sharif, and Alvin Brooks.
in Thanks For Noticing: The Interpretation of Desire, p186.
Especially gratifying were the ways the speakers and activities elaborated the theme of the evening, "to know and be known," a theme around which Vern's book, Thanks for Noticing, was created, citing a Muslim Hadith Qudsi (page 17-18, 28, 31, 51, 75, 95, 101, 161, 186.)
Vern, who organized the Council in 1989, was given the first Table of Faiths award by then-Mayor Kay Barnes in 2005 shown here, after Vern had retired from the leading the Council.
For the record, the 2018 program incorrectly listed Vern as the first recipient of the Steve Jeffers Leadership Service Award; Steve tragically died in 2008 and the first Jeffers award was given that year. Steve and Vern had worked together many years on numerous projects, and with the assistance of Michael E Nelson and Michael C Brannigan, and with help from members of the Interfaith Council, completed Steve's dream of an 'interfaith PDR'-- Physicans' Desk Reference, the internationally published 740-page The Essential Guide to Religious Traditions and Spirituality for Health Care Providers.
Vern says, "Although I am deeply grateful to the Council for the inagural Table of Faiths Award, it would be wrong for me to allow the error to stand that I received an award in the name of my precious friend, Steve. I remain overwhelmed by the the Council's Table of Faiths Award and its generous inscription." The award reads, The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council presents the inaugural TABLE OF FAITHS AWARD to The Reverend Vern Barnet, D.Min. for his lifelong career dedicated to encouraging interfaith dialogue, for his vision in founding The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council, and for the compassion and wisdom he exhibits every day.
Those who have received the Steve Jeffers Leadership Service Award include Dr Robert Hill, Ahmed El-Sherif, Queen Mother Maxine McFarlane, Donna Ziegenhorn, Mayor Sly James, Bambi Shen, the Rev Dr Wallace Hartsfield Sr, Shakil Haider, Dr Sofia Khan, and this year's recipient, as noted above, Mindy Corporon and Melinda Coproran -- "Faith Always Wins."
After the inaugiral award, the Table of Faiths Award has been given to Ed Chasteen and Don and Adele Hall (all three in 2006), The Kansas City Star and Alvin L Brooks (two awards), Shawnee Mission Medical Center, All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church, Notre Dame de Sion, the Kansas City Public Library, Unity Church of Overland Park, Children's Mercu Hospital, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Blue Valley School District, the Dialogue Institute - Kansas City, and, as noted above, Jewish Vocational Services.
CRES is seeking to provide an accurate history of interfaith activities in Kansas City, so any corrections to this list are welcomed.
Tomorrow Alum Assn Award Recipients
Previous Kansas City Tomorrow Alum Assn "Distinguished Alumni Award" recipients Vern Barnet (2006) and Jody Ladd Craig (2013) congratulate the newest recipient, Kansas City Mayor Sly James at a luncheon in his honor at the Polsinelli law firm offices on the Plaza 2018 May 22. (Here is a list of all honorees from 1987.)
Vern thanks Senator Claire McCaskill for her understanding of how religious diversity enriches America in countless ways, following at an event 2018 June 9 at which she spoke eloquently about valuing our variety of faiths.
Kansas City Human Rights Commissioner Kelly Kendall, filmmaker Mohammed Shaik Hussain Ali, recipient of the "2018 OUT HERE NOW Celebration of Courage Award," Open Circle's Jamie Rich, and CRES's Vern Barnet pose at the Tivoli Theater after the enthusiastic and heart-felt applause following the screening of "Evening Shadows" June 14. The award is presented jointly by the Commission and the Kansas City LGBT Film Festival. This evening was co-hosted by CRES, Open Circle, and The Fairness Project.
The story: Upon returning to his hometown from Mumbai where he lives with his beloved, a talented young man is shocked to discover that his overbearing father has arranged to marry him off to his childhood friend. Feeling tremendous pressure from his family, the young man finally and impulsively tells his mother, the only person who has ever really attempted to understand him, "I am gay!" She is shocked and repulsed, but as the film skillfully follows the ensuing questions and conversations, she comes to accept and support him, leading to a dramatic confrontation with her husband and evenually her own liberation as a person whose own talents are no longer suppressed by her husband.
While made for Indian audiences, Americans viewing this film see the struggle against oppression in our own country afresh by being immersed in a fascinating segment of today's Hindu culture and Indian politics.
The Reverend Vern Barnet, DMn, was ordained a Unitarian Universalist minister in 1970. On 2018 June 21, his retirement was observed at the denominational annual General Assemby, this year coincidentally held in Kansas City. The photo by Josh Paszkiewicz captures him a few minutes before the ceremony at the Convention Center began.
"Retirement" is, of course, misleading, as Vern continues a hectic schedule of speaking, teaching, writing, editing, and consulting. While he maintains his clergy status with his cherished local Unitarian Universalist colleagues, he is also a committed and active layman at Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral (Episcopal) in downtown Kansas City, MO, and participates in diocesan lay ministries.
The shawl he wears on many liturgical occasions was presented to him 2007 June 17 with an award from the Hindu Temple and Cultural Center in Shawnee, KS, by his now-deceased dear friend Anand Bhattacharyya. The symbols of world religions — Primal, Asian, and Monotheistic — on the reversable stole were created as a gift by Su Budd, a parishioner of Vern's last congregation as he was launching interfaith community ministry in the area in 1985.
The symbols represent (first panel, top to bottom) Judaism, Catholic Christianity, Protestant Christianity, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Unitarian Universalism, Baha'i, (second panel) Zoroastrianism, American Indian traditons, Paganism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Chinese traditions of Daoism and Confucianism, and Shinto.
For an outline the CRES world religions "research program," click on this link.
Vern lectures in Atchison on world religions for
students in the Benedictine Sister's Souljourners
spiritual formation program leading to spiritual direction ministry at
the Sophia Center, 751 South 8th Street, Atchison, Kansas 66002.
You are welcome even if you
have not read the book or seen the movie
“The purpose of a Vital Conversation is not to
win an argument,
in dialog that will add value to the participants and to the world.
In Vital Conversations, we become co-creators of a better community.
The discussions began May 24, 2002, at the CRES facility
by examining Karen Armstrong’s The Battle for God
2018 Vital Conversations Schedule
“The purpose of a Vital Conversation is not to win an argument but to win a friend and advance civilization.”—Vern Barnet
Conversations — A Program of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith
Council, CRES, and Mid Continent Public Library Antioch Branch, 6060 N.
Chestnut. Gladstone, MO 64119 The Second Wednesday of each month from 1
to 2:30 pm.
10, 2018 The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
April 11, 2018 God Against the Gods: The History
of the War Between Monotheism and Polytheism by Jonathan Kirsch.
May 9, 2018 Radical Dharma: Talking Race, Love, and Liberation, Angel Kyodo Williams, Lama Rod Owens with Jasmine Syedullah.
Igniting a long-overdue
dialogue about how the legacy of racial injustice and white supremacy plays
out in society at large and Buddhist communities this urgent call to action
outlines a new dharma that considers the ways that racism and privilege
prevents our collective awakening.
June 13, 2018 Our Fathers: Making Black Men, Lewis Diuguid.
Many people don't understand why black lives must matter and why the racial
divide seems to be taking the country back 50 years. Like the mythical
Sankofa bird, the answer to what's missing now lies in what existed before.
July 11, 2018 The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
August 8, 2018 The Evolution of Africans in North
America: The Three Phases of Permanent Perpetual Slavery by Archie Williams
September 12, 2018 God: A Human History by Reza
October 10, 2018 Sinners in the Hands of A Loving
God by Brian Zahnd
November 14, 2018 Celestial Mechanics by William
December 12, 2018 Convictions: How I Learned
What Matters Most by Marcus J. Borg
Selections are subject to change. If you would like
to be reminded and have additional information, contact David Nelson at
email@example.com or call (816) 453-3835
ABOUT CRES PARTICIPATION
Having spawned several other organizations,
including the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council,
we continue to offer programs initiated by and through others
but we no longer create our own in order to focus on our unique work.
For interfaith and cultural calendars maintained by other groups, click here.
full announcements pending
“ — ” ‘—’ 24
“ — ” ‘—’ 18
“ — ” ‘—’ 14
“ — ” ‘—’ 12
“ — ” ‘—’ 10
ANSWERS ? NOTES
All items are true except--
12. (F) The US and allies overthew the democratiocally selected Iranian Prime Minister Mosaddegh in 1953 and reinstalled the oppressive Shah in exchange for oil control by Western countries.
15, (T) The nation was Morocco in 1777.