June 2007 Minutes

Interfaith of Topeka Board Meeting
June 26, 2007
Topeka/Shawnee Public Library, Marvin auditorium 101C
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
Dr. Sufi conducted the opening prayer.
Faith Sharing: Dr. Sufi, Islam
Key points discussed:
-Submission to will of God is a major factor in Islam.
-2nd largest religion after Christianity—1.5 billion Muslims
-Islam is for everybody—not just one race or country
-Realistic, simple creed is used.
-Oldest religion—God made people and appointed prophets including Adam, Noah, and Jesus. They are Muslims because they submitted to will of God.
-Only one God and no other deity. He is the creator and everything else is the creation.
-Humans are only different from other animals in that they have free will.
-When people did have oneness with God, he sent prophets.
-Prophet Mohammed talked about Abraham, Moses, Jesus and what they said about one God.
-Prophet Mohammed has much knowledge collected about him because he came as prophet after the time of Jesus.
-The history of Jesus was discussed including is role as a Servant of God. He is mentioned 27 times in the Koran. His miracles are reported as in the Bible. 
-Mary is mentioned more in the Koran than in the New Testament. Most noble, beloved woman in history of universe. Mariam is Islamic version of Mary and often used in Muslim households.
-Jesus did not create laws, corrected laws of Moses. He is still alive and will come back.
-Moses is also mentioned extensively in Koran.
-Koran is holy book. Bible is a holy book because it came from the prophets. Koran is word of God. Koran means to read. Presents community, personal life and theological message, and stories about scripture.
-Family values include extended family, neighbors. Marriage is about 50% of Islamic life.
-After 9/11 interest has increased in the Koran. The readings brought by Dr. Sufi talks about the truths of the Koran versus what is misinterpreted or rumor. 
What is your background? Born as a Muslim in Pakistan. After moving to U.S. had revisit Muslim faith to teach his children. Then. to defend his religion to different faiths, he had to study his faith.
Suicide bombing is not condoned by Koran. It is a sin. Political situations create a sense of life worth not living and it is used to recruit suicide bombers.
Why is their head covering for women and separation of men and women? Modesty is most important men and women. Koran says to cover head but does not have to cover her face. Is it sin not to cover her head? No, it is between a woman and God. Separation during prayer is due to reading of prayers and is a matter of modesty when praying. Woman can be scholars, president of mosques.
What about dietary restrictions—different religions seem to have different viewpoints?   Islam and Judism seem to have similar restrictions. Change in restrictions overtime was done by Christians in terms of dietary habits. 
Addition of New Business
Renewal of Storage Unit—Phil Wilkes
Approve May 22, 2007 Interfaith of Topeka Board Meeting Minutes
Action: Moved and seconded to approve minutes
Treasure’s Report—Phil Wilkes
$1,273.72 checking
1,694.75 SBC Cash Fund
4,214.57 PAX World Growth Fund
7,182.57 Total Liquid Assets
Follow-up: Storage space on agenda for next meeting–$400 annual costs. Need more information. Visit set up for IF members to see what is in storage unit. Officers are encouraged to attend. Bill will set up with Christian.
Update on IF board issues—
Bill Gitchell
  • Review names and links on website
Follow-up: Need to continue working on this project.
Bulletin Board Update—Don Jacobs
Key points discussed:
Nexlynx Web Site Design and Development—Fixed Fee Estimates is $275. Users given password to enter discussion and make a comment. A tree diagram is used for discussion threads. Push enter to send to a gatekeeper. Check for content related to discussion forum. Once approved, message sent to anyone interested in this thread. Local, regional, or international. Don will donate costs and act as moderator with one or two others. Questions from board members included:
-Can we keep up with comments? Don’t want free for all comments. Or, do we want to have a comment reported to moderator that is outside of our boundaries. Can keep new person on moderator list until they are proven.
-Not many other bulletin boards for interfaith topics.
-Do we get a report on hits for IF?
-Can we ask for donations via IF website?
-Experimental group with IF to test?
Action: IF members test use of bb for next meetings. Don will donate costs of $275. Approved by a vote of yes.
Spirituality Events—All
  • Possibilities for faith sharing and/or spirituality conference.
  • Needed space for larger groups—will library space suffice?
  • How best to advertise spirituality event? Newspaper, public assess channel, bulletin board, blog?
  • Actual program on public assess (Channel 4 or KTWU). Need a hook to turn on the channel.
  • Coordinate events with other faith traditions
Follow-up: Continue item into July meeting.
Thanksgiving Programming—“Thankful for Nature’s Bounty”
November 18th–Jack Rardin
Sallye’s church, First Congregation will host event.
Donation of funds is open.
Jack will set up meeting at First Congregation
Dialogue: Educational experience about not to fear what caused the founders of Interfaith to draw away from the group—earth based faith traditions raised concerns.–All
Follow-up: Continue item into July meeting.
Dialogue: Meaning of Spirituality–All
Follow-up: Continue item into July meeting.
New Business
Follow-up: Continue item on storage unit into July meeting.
Next Meeting Date: July 24 at the Topeka/Shawnee Public Library
Faith Sharing Schedule:
July: Jerry Quiring, Progressive Christianity
August: TBA
September: Christian Kramer, Healing Mother Earth
Bill—oral report that be recorded. MP3 file from faith sharing.    New technology that goes directly to computer. USB port.
Key Points Discussed:
Dr. Sufi—Ingrid Mattson is coming to Topeka on Dec. 1 or 2. She is the President of Islamic Society of North America. Islamic Center will sponsor and IF could co-sponsor an event. Dr. Sufi will e-mail members for interest in serving on a committee. 
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