People who regularly read what I write here, in columns I write for three different publications and in my books know that I'm a strong advocate for interfaith understanding and dialogue.
What I haven't emphasized enough, perhaps, is why it's important to start down this road with children and youth. So today I'm going to tell you a bit about that and link you to some recorded words from Kansas City area youth who are discovering how enlightening and helpful interfaith connections and understandings can be.
If you sometimes worry about the younger generation, give a listen to these voices at the links I will give you and I think you'll feel a lot better about the future.
The Kansas City Interfaith Youth Alliance (disclosure: I serve on its board) has joined forces with young people connected to SevenDays®, the community-wide effort created after a neo-Nazi murdered three people at Jewish institutions in the spring of 2014.
Clare Stern, executive director of interfaith youth engagement for the Faith Always Wins Foundation, Kansas City Interfaith Youth Alliance and SevenDays, has started recording stories by and about young people engaged in this work. You can find some of those recordings (each four to six minutes) here.
What's so striking to me about them is how the teen-agers describe in different ways how the experience of learning about other faith traditions has helped them understand their own faith commitment. Often it has deepened that original commitment. When that commitment was lacking or confused, this interfaith work has helped them sort out who they are and what they believe.
The link I've given you above on SevenDays®, which I've just given you again, will describe the events being planned for April 10-16. I hope you will participate in some or all of that. Together we can make Kansas City a religiously more welcoming community.
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COME ON, SENATE
President Trump earlier this week re-nominated Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback to be ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. Because Brownback has been unwilling to stop being governor until the Senate confirms him for his new role, the Senate could do Kansas a huge favor by confirming him this week. The sooner the better. Every day he remains as governor he hurts Kansas.