August 2007 Minutes

Interfaith of Topeka Board Meeting
August 28, 2007
Topeka/Shawnee Public Library, 206 Menninger Room
6:00 p.m. Thanksgiving Committee
About 6:45 p.m. Faith sharing
About 7:45 p.m. Business Meeting
Jackie Lakin
Interfaith of Topeka Mission
Interfaith of Topeka is comprised of people from a variety of faiths and religious traditions. We bring together individuals who are willing to put aside their prejudices and open their minds and hearts to new possibilities. We are willing to engage in the process of working together to build an active community, strong in its shared values of faith, compassion, human dignity, and mutual respect where the expression of love and peace replaces hate and violence.
Members (present at meeting X; absent at meeting left blank)
Don Anderson
David Beale
Joel Edwards
Bill Gitchell
Daljit Jawa
Christian Kramer
Jackie Lakin
Norbert Lickteig
C.R. Macchi
Jim Mosher
Deepak Parulkar
Jan Price
Sanford Pomeranz
Jerry Quiring
Jack Rardin
Karen Sessel
Ashraf Sufi
Phil Wilkes
Sallye Winkinson
Joe Hendrixson–Class of 2007
Barbara Karnowski
Vacant Class of 2007
Vacant Class of 2009
Agenda Items
Key Points Discussed
Action or Follow-up
Opening Prayer: Jerry Quiring
Faith Sharing: Jerry Quiring, Progressive Christianity
Key Points Discussed: Jerry shared about anti-Baptist wing of the 1500’s Reformation.   Anti-Baptist is to be baptized again–not at birth. The left wing or radical wing literally interpreted the Sermon on the Mount. Bases on The Complete Writings of Menno Simons 1146-1561. Menno is the name from which Mennonites is derived from. Amish still practice simplicity, turning the other check and live separately. They use the Bible and Martyrs Mirror showing that they come from a long line advocating peace. Mennonites also still believe in peace. Jerry read a children’s story about John Shrag from Peace Be With You by Cornelia Lehn. The story was about a pacifist in 1918.
During the time of Katherine the Great, many changes occurred for Jerry’s ancestors. They  moved to Russian with the promise of not serving in the military. After her death, much migration with finally settling in Henderson, Nebraska. Also, settlements in Kansas happened during this time period. Not working on Sundays set them apart. Also, not serving in the military was part of the culture. Movies, drinking, smoking and dancing were forbidden.   Jerry had many discussions with a Lutheran girl friend about religion. Later, he went to Tabor College in 1963 and in 1965 read a professor’s paper on “New Wineskins for Old Wine”. The paper reminded him of Lutheran discussions during high school–difference between form and substance. His questioning caused a rift during his college years but later he reconciled those issues. 
Jerry attended a Mennonite seminary to try to find answers to his questions about life. After two years, transferred to Trinity Evengelical school. Popular place where he found out he did not want a systemic, doctrine of faith. In 1970’s, he studied faith as a process–based on work of Original Blessings by Matthew Fox. Later he traveled to Cairo, Egypt and discovered people are just people and missionary work is faith sharing. In 1982, when pasturing in small church, two new members did not want adult baptism. They felt Baptism as a baby was sufficient. The church leaders told him that the 1500’s rite was to be held. It was awful experience—form and substance locking heads. 
Fox’s work added a new dimension with creation spirituality with painting, sculpture, creative dance. Jerry took creative dance—three women, young priest and instructor—feelings came out with the dance. Gave a sense of freedom—cosmic Christ. In 1990’s, he read Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus J. Borg. Led to Jesus seminars where they talked about what are the actual words of Jesus. Finally, his journey led to Progressive Christianity.
 Materials include: Westar Institute’s journal The Fourth R, The Progressive Christian journal, and Center for Progressive Christianity. Christians who have found an approach to God through the life and teachings of Jesus. The website is: The Center for Progressive Christianity Last book was Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diane Butler Bass with its ten signposts of renewal: hospitality, discernment, healing, contemplation, testimony, diversity, justice, worship, reflection, and beauty. Faith Community Church is attempting Progressive Christian Church. His position is he still a Mennonite but believes change is still part of it. Harvey Cox was brought up—his name is associated with Progressive Christianity. 
Addition of New Business
  • website
Website was added.
July 24, 2007 Interfaith of Topeka Board Meeting Minutes
Bill took notes because Jackie had a meeting in Hutchinson. Very small group was present so Jerry Quiring’s presentation was postponed until August meeting. Also, Peace Poles were a discussion item moved forward to the August meeting.
Treasure’s Report
Phil was absent and share via telephone prior to the meeting that not much has changed.
Update on IF Board Issues—
Bill Gitchell:
Key Points Discussed: Bill shared about the changes on IF website. Not dependent on Dreamweaver so easier for IF board to contribute. Site is
Bulletin Board Update—Don Jacobs
Key Points Discussed: Don Jacobs gave an update about the Bulletin Board. To start the discussion, it is totally open for IF board use. When open to the public, they will register. Nexlynx is working on this. Only participants who fail to use the site properly will be blocked as a user. Very close to having discussion forum completed. Don will send us an e-mail when ready to use—about a month.
Spirituality Events—All
  • Possibility for faith sharing and/or spirituality conference.
Key Points Discussed: Ashraf sent an e-mail asking if anyone has a meeting room/banquet space for a Dec. 1 event with Dr.Ingrid Mattson, President of
ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) Need additional information but Karen will ask at the synagogue.
Follow-up: Karen will contact her board and ask for permission for the event. She will write Ashraf.
Thanksgiving Program Committee Report—“Thankful for Nature’s Bounty”
November 18th–Jack Rardin, chair
Notes from committee held at 6 p.m.
Key Points Discussed: Jack shared the arrangement of facilities. The choir section has fixed chairs. Sallye told Jim there is room for the harps. Also, the harps are committed to play. Jim said Aimee will not charge in interpret.
Follow-up: Jackie is working up a draft program. Sallye will bring one or two hymnals for next meeting to look at songs. She will drop by them by Red Carpet Services since she is out of town. Bill will check with Ashraf, Karen, Deepak, and Christian about main speakers as well as prayer/readings. Also, Sallye shared they have a projection system if anyone wants to do a multi-media presentation. And, they could project songs. The system would be operated by First Congregation staff. Sallye is not sure how snack should be arranged with desserts and drinks. Additionally, Sallye shared art work and other informational displays might be placed in the fellowship hall. Jack added that Aletha Cushenberry, Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ might be a presenter.
Action: During board meeting, Deepak shared that there will be a Hindu performance. Jim asked for help in promoting the use of a sign interpreter.
New Business
  • Peace Poles
  • Interfaith Education
Key Points Discussed: Sallye talked about Peace Poles founded in 1955 by Masahisa Goi (1916-1980) in Japan. 200,000 Peace Poles are located in 180 countries.   She suggested IF promote placing Peace Poles in the community. She showed examples from a prototype created by her church First Congregation to creative ones located on the Internet.
Follow-Up: During Thanksgiving Conference, seek partnership with groups to help promote Peace Poles being placed in schools, churches, and other prominent site in the community. Perhaps UUFT youth who just purchased a Peace Pole could share their experience at table. Also, Sallye can present during the program.
Bill asked board members to think about places for placing peace poles.
Key Points Discussed: Interfaith Education: Bill said would like to promote a formal religious program in the state of Kansas for use in public schools. Some religions are talked about in Social Studies textbooks. IF members shared that materials are available from a variety of resources.   Bill is going to invite Bill Wagnon from the Kansas State Board of Education to discuss this issue. Jack shared that CNN’s program on about God’s Warriors.
Next Meeting Date: Tuesday, September 25 at the Topeka/Shawnee Public Library
Faith Sharing Schedule:
September: Christian Kramer, Healing Mother Earth
Deepak—Indian Festival Sept. 9 from 10-3 in Gage Park to raise money for Habit for Humanity.
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