Annual Meeting 2017

Interfaith Annual Meeting DRAFT

January 24, 2017


Present: John Christensen, Carol Christensen, Duane Herrmann, Don Anderson, Bobbie Anderson, Christian Kramer, Abdul Raqib, Sanford Pomerantz, Ted Heim, Dan Kingman, Sarah Oglesby-Duncan, Carolyn Zimmerman, Susan Holm, Carolyn Litwin, Ellen Caster, Jerome V. Williams, Gertrude Williams, Omar Hazim, Deidre Hazim, Linda Maxwell, Kathy Thurbon, Steve Henry, Khalil Green, Roger Neufeld Smith, Cynthia Neufeld Smith, Luqman Shabazz

The 2017 Interfaith Annual Meeting met at the Islamic Center of Topeka. John thanked Imam Hazim for hosting us. Omar welcomed everyone and offered a prayer of thanks for our meal.

Business Meeting—Following the potluck meal, John called the meeting to order. He noted that notice of the meeting was sent out per email and the website in a timely manner as indicated in our bylaws.

Minutes—The minutes of the 2016 annual meeting were reviewed. Christian moved, and Susan seconded, the minutes be approved as written. Motion passed.

Audit—The audit report of the 2016 financial year was reviewed. Susan and Ellen conducted the audit using the treasurer’s reports and the statements from the bank. No discrepancies were noted. Susan moved, and Christian seconded, the audit report be approved. Motion passed.

John expressed appreciation to those directors who were going off the board this year. Sanford Pomerantz, David Ozaki, Don Anderson, and Janice Levering were each given a gift card in thanks for their years of service. Ellen also presented a gift card to John in thanks for serving four years as President.

Election of Officers and Directors—Ellen presented the slate of officers and directors for the coming year (see below). The highlighted names are the officers and directors to be elected. New or returning directors to the board are Kathy Thurbon, Christian Kramer, Dan Kingman, and Deb Southerland. There were no nominations from the floor. A motion was made to elect the slate of officers and directors presented. Motion passed.


*President: Roger Neufeld Smith (Southern Hills Mennonite Church) (2013)

*Vice-President: Khalil Green (Islamic Center of Topeka) (2014)

Secretary: Ellen Caster (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Topeka) (2012)

*Treasurer: Susan Zuber-Chall (Temple Beth Sholom) (2010)

*Immediate Past President: John Christensen (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) (2012)

Board of Directors

Class of 2017

*Dennis Bosley (Prairie Erth Zen Center) (2011)

*Chris Hamilton (Baha’i Community) (2012)

*Ted Heim (Westminster Presbyterian Church) (2010)

Kris Bethea (Pagan Community) (2015)



Class of 2018

Janet Crowl (American Baptist) (2013)

Rajini Dasaraju (Hindu) (2012)

*Jay Henderson (University United Methodist Church) (2015)

*Anne R. Flynn (Grace Episcopal Cathedral) (2016)

*Kathy Thurbon (First Church of Christ, Scientist) (2016)


Class of 2019

Linda Maxwell (Ad Astra Grove, ADF) (2014)

Christian Kramer (Native American) (2017)

*Dan Kingman (Atheist Community of Topeka) (2017)

*Deb Southerland (West Side Christian Church) (2017)



Submitted by the Nominating Committee and the 2016 Executive Committee

President’s Report—John highlighted activities of the board through the year: film clips from the Parliament of the World’s Religions at the annual meeting, the Town Hall meeting at the Islamic Center with an overflow crowd, continued work on updating the Holyground website, Kris Bethea keeping up our website and Facebook presence, the film festival in April, learning about efforts to address hunger in Topeka and the work of the Kansas Children’s Service League, financial contribution to the Topeka Center for Peace and Justice for the peace camp, cosponsoring community forums on Race, Ethnicity, and Religion, our Thanksgiving service with the theme “Moving Forward Together” and a youth mission project. As a result of the offering at the Thanksgiving service, we were able to give $400 each to four organizations in Topeka serving the community.

Incoming President’s Remarks—Roger had just returned from the Holy Land. The trip made clear the need for faith traditions to build understanding with each other. He thanked Omar for hosting our meeting.

Imam Omar Hazim and Deidre Hazim led a question and answer time focused on Islam. Omar stated the Prophet Mohammad taught there should be no compulsion in religion. We should have respect for each person’s beliefs. Kansas Interfaith Action is leading a “Stand With Muslims” week February 14 to 21. The doors of the Islamic Center will be open for visitors.

John thanked everyone for attending and invited anyone interested to attend out meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month, 7:00 PM, at the Topeka-Shawnee County Public Library, Menninger Room.

Respectfully submitted,

Ellen Caster

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