One of the goals of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council is to help make Kansas City one of the most religiously welcoming communities in the country.
Still, sometimes all you need to do is look at the calendar to recognize that we Kansas Citians seem to be making progress in this area.
Just take a quick look at what already is going on here this month.
* The exhibit "Echoes: Islamic Art and Contemporary Artists" continues at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art through this coming March.
* The Jewish Arts Festival happened two weeks ago.
* The Mainstream Coalition offered an evening of conversation about the dangers of religion.
* Israel's ambassador to the Vatican spoke to Christian and Jewish clergy at Rockhurst University earlier this month.
* The area Hindu community sponsored a Durga Puja celebration last weekend.
* The Kansas City Interfaith Youth Alliance sponsored a peace walk last weekend.
* The Community of Christ Peace Colloquy is happening this weekend.
* The Dialogue Institute's annual friendship and dialogue dinner and awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday.
* Harvard professor Ali Asani will speak on "Muslims Journeys" at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library on Oct. 29.
(Have I worn you out yet?)
* Hallween evening the Friends of Chamber Music will sponsor "Honey and Blood: The Cycles of Life in the Mosaic of Christians, Sephardic Jews and Muslims of the Balkan Peoples" at the Folly Theater.
* And the annual interfaith Thanksgiving dinner will take place Sunday, Nov. 17, at All Souls Unitarian-Universalist Church. (I'll be the emcee.)
There's still much to do to help our citizens live in religious harmony, secure in their own traditions but open to respecting the traditions of others. But we're on the journey.
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A SHOW-ME STATE EMBARRASSMENT
Nice. We Missourians are in the national spotlight again for something not needed and ridiculous. State legislators have overriden Gov. Jay Nixon's veto of a silly bill that will allow any celebrations of Christmas in public schools and other public sites. Although couched in language that says citizens can celebrate any federal holiday any way they want to, it's really a law to let our public officials promote a Christian holiday. Wonder how many votes this would have gotten had its focus been Ramadan. We can only hope the courts will overturn this one, and soon.
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P.S.: Time is running out for you to sign up for an essay writing class I'll be teaching from 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6, through Communiversity. It will be in the Witherspoon room of Second Presbyterian Church, 318 E. 55th St. To sign up, click here for the Communiversity online catalog and scroll down to page 14. Or for a direct link to register, click here. But do it today. The class size is limited.