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October 2011 Interfaith Relations Newsletter
Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston

October, 2011

Interfaith Relations Newsletter October 2011
October 2011 Interfaith Relations Newsletter


IM logo 

    Even though the weather is still warm, fall in Houston will arrive soon. The upcoming months will be filled with religious holidays, national holidays, and sacred time with family and friends. I am honored by the invitations I receive from a wide range of faith communities, asking me to join in their various celebrations. My job is unique indeed. I cannot always attend every gathering, but I do my best to share in the festivals and high holidays when I am able. During these sacred gatherings, I am often struck by the depth of relationship in community. 

    In our world of technology and full schedules that seems to get faster every day we risk losing our connectivity in community. There is something precious about seeing a smile on someone else's face or praying together with fifty, a hundred or five hundred of your brothers and sisters in faith. There is power in the time we spend celebrating the seasons and cycles of life. 

    As many of you know our Annual Dinner Dialogues are quickly approaching and will take place on November 17. This year we are excited to offer a new option for those of you who have attended in the past years called "A Deeper Dialogue." These new dialogues will embrace a more open format and allow you to ask one another questions about each other's faith traditions. There will be a new level of vulnerability and trust required in these sessions. I hope that you will try out the new format, and encourage your friends and family who have not participated to attend our more traditional dinner experience. 

    This year I challenge you to attend a dinner and think about how you can create community with your group in a few short hours. How can you express to someone of a different faith tradition your desire for their well-being and happiness just as you would someone from your own community at a Diwali festival, at Yom Kippur services, celebrating the birth of Baha'u'llah or your Thanksgiving table? The Amazing Faiths Dinners are about forming new friendships and creating a fabric of relationship throughout our great city. 

    I look forward to hearing your stories of your new connections. Please register today for the dinner dialogues and take your place at the table. I look forward to holy day celebrations with my friends from different traditions and our continued efforts to create a respectful and compassionate community together. 


Please scroll all the way down the page to see all upcoming events!        



Lauren Santerre
Director of Interfaith Relations


The Annual Dinner Dialogues

November 17, 2011



Registration Now Open! 


The Amazing Faiths Project Annual Dinner Dialogues bring people of all faiths and no faith together for an engaging conversation while sharing a meal. The dinners provide Houstonians the opportunity to learn about one another and share their faith experiences in a friendly setting.  


Listen to Dr. Jim Bankston talk about the power of breaking bread!  


Dr. Bankston for AFP.wmv
Dr. Bankston, St. Paul's United Methodist Church  



For More Info visit:




Women's Interfaith Retreat

February 24-26, 2012

Camp Allen


Early Registration Ends October 31st!!!! 

Love Thyself 2


We invite you to join together with women from various faith traditions and backgrounds for an intimate weekend together exploring the deep complexity of loving ourselves. We invite you to read all about it...  


Join us for a DIVINE weekend!


Keynote Speaker: Kristin Ritzau   

Workshops, Meditations, Small Groups and More....


Register by October 31 for Our Best Rate!!

Semi-Private: $200.00

Private: $275.00








Fall Faith and Cultural Bus Tour
APAHA and Interfaith Ministries 
October 23, 2011
Bus 1

Do you enjoy visiting places of worship? Do you like to learn about the religious diversity in Houston? Would you like to take a trip with your fellow Houstonians and make new friends all while being chauffeured to exciting faith community sites? 

If you answered yes to one or more of these questions then register today for our Fall Faith Tour. We had a packed bus last spring, so we are offering this full day adventure to you again! 

Sites Include: 
BAPS Hindu Mandir
Jade Buddha Temple

Our Lady of Walsingham Catholic Church and Shrine

Houston Chinese Church

Maryam Masjid 
Hong Kong City Mall, Chinatown

$30 per person (lunch included) 
REGISTER HERE  ________________________________________________ 

Dinner Dialogue in a Box
Questions for Dinner Dialogue Groups  

Many of you have let us know that you are continuing to meet with your Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogue groups and we are thrilled to hear that great news! Each month you will find in this section a few discussion questions that you can use for your follow up meetings!
We would love to hear about how your groups are doing and any activities that you all choose to do together! 

October Questions:  

1. "There is nothing noble about being superior to some other man. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self."                       --Hindu Proverb
Can you identify a time in the past five years where your faith tradition or spiritual practice has challenged you to be a superior version of your previous self? What happened, and what lesson did you learn?          

2. "As fragrance abides in the flower 
As reflection is within the mirror, 
So does your Lord abide within you, 
Why search for him without ?"

                                                                                      --Guru Nanak


This quote raises the question of our concept of God. Is God something within us, outside of us, or perhaps both? What has your faith tradition taught you about the location and presence of God and human beings relationship to God? 

Do you have news to share?

The Interfaith Relations Department asks that all requests to promote upcoming events be received by the 3rd Friday of the month preceeding your event. Click here to fill out our line request form. Thank you!
In This Issue
Amazing Faiths Dinners
Women's Retreat 2012
Dinner Dialogue in a Box
Women, War and Peace
Course in Miracles
Foundation of Hapiness
East Meets West
Women, War and Peace
Women War peace logo 
PBS Series Special
Patricia Gras 
October 4, 11PM
Women, War and Hope: A conversation with Nobel Peace Prize winner Jodi Williams. 

October 11, 11PM
Houston Refugees: Stories of Courage 
This show will focus on three refugees in the Houston area from Congo, Burma, and Bhutan. 

Click Here for More Info

Exploring a Course in Miracles

Sondra Ray and Mark Sullivan

Tuesday, October 11, 2011



Renowned spiritual teachers Sondra Ray and Mark Sullivan, who travel the world to give workshops and seminars on healing and spiritual growth, will present a two-hour workshop that is designed to help individuals reach inner peace.


This program is a part of Rothko Chapel's ongoing efforts to explore emerging spiritualities as well as  the teachings of the world's venerable religious traditions.


For more info click here


The Foundation of Happiness

MIchael Ciborski

Saturday, October 15 2011



Michael Ciborski will share his insights into happiness based on his many years of training in mindfulness practice and striving to bring understanding, compassion, and healing to the world.


Cinorski and his wife are the founders of MorningSun, a spiritual community centered on the practice of mindfulness, the moment to moment awareness of all that encompasses one's body and the world around it.


For more info click here


East Meet West Dialog

Zen Master Miao Tsan and Rabbi Samuel Karff




Wednesday, October 19

Boniuk Center for Religious Tolerance- Rice University

Herring Hall Rm 100

6100 Main Street






For more info email

Jennifer Farmer  


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