The Santa Clarita Interfaith Council will be hosting the second of a series of interfaith panels entitled “Know Your Neighbors” from 7-8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Westfield Valencia Mall in the Community Conference Room located on the ground floor in the Security Office passage near the Food Court.
The event is open to the public and is free. All are encouraged to attend this unique opportunity to experience viewpoints held by the various faiths that share the Santa Clarita Valley.
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Confirmed faiths on the panel include Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Unitarian Universalism, and Methodist Christianity.
The theme of this second panel is “Family and Marriage” The Council wishes to highlight the differences and similarities among our local faiths and encourage dialogue regarding the various perspectives and traditions held by our neighbors. Also the Council wishes to encourage faith leadership to work together for the good of our community.
While cordial, the panelists views clearly differ and these views were obviated in simple terms. The first panel was highlighted by contrasting opinions that underscore the controversies experienced in American society.
Carl Goldman, Co-Owner of KHTS AM-1220 is the moderator of this second forum. Should time allow, the moderator will permit members of the audience to direct specific questions to representatives on the panel.
“You may be surprised to learn how different the views are among our many faiths in Santa Clarita,” said Interfaith Council President Jonathan Kraut. “The more I have studied our faiths, the more I realize how dissimilar they are. However, differences highlight a need for deeper understanding and appreciation. Being more familiar with the beliefs and traditions of our neighbors not only dispels untrue rumors and misinformation, but draws our community closer together through mutual awareness and respect, creating a deeper trust of one another.”
Since each panel size is limited to five or six faiths, the many faiths not represented will have an opportunity to post their written answers on the Santa Clarita Interfaith Council site on Facebook. Persons not able to attend the panels who have questions are encouraged to submit these questions through the Facebook site so that they may be used in this or subsequent panels as well.
Formed over 20 years ago, the Santa Clarita Interfaith Council is comprised of local clergy and delegates from faith communities. Active Interfaith participants include: Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Episcopal, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish, Methodist, Lutheran, Unitarian Universalist, and atheist members.
The purpose of the Council is three-fold: first to bring together faith leadership as collective and therefore is better able to respond to local issues and challenges; second, to support the sharing of various faith philosophies, practices, and traditions; and third, to support community projects that aid the needy and contribute toward the common good.
Upcoming Interfaith Council activities this year include:
- Interfaith Panel #2, 7-8:30 p.m. May 29, Westfield Mall Community Room
- Interfaith Panel #3, 7-8:30 p.m. Sept. 11, Westfield Mall Community Room (tentative)
- Interfaith Panel #4, 7-8:30 p.m. Oct. 23, Westfield Mall Community Room (tentative)
- CROP Walk for to End Hunger, 9 a.m. Nov. 11 - Veterans Day, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church
Interfaith Council Officers include President Jonathan Kraut, Vice President/Treasurer Rev. Stan Fix and Secretary/Communications Erik Felker.