The Interfaith Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska is an ongoing response to God’s call to peacemaking and reconciliation.Affirming the community of Abrahamic faiths, the Peace Conference seeks to work in partnership with Christians, Jews, Muslims, and members of other religious traditions to advance the work of reconciliation and peace.
We are living in a culture of increasing polarization that borders on chaos.
Our society is divided culturally, politically, economically, and racially. Educational level, sexual identity, geographical region, ethnicity, race, and class have divided our nation.
As a result of these growing divisions within our society, we are not listening to one another.
We are gravitating toward conversation only with those with whom we agree on issues. We have barricaded our communities of faith and failed to reach out to our brothers and sisters of the three Abrahamic faiths, much less other faiths or those who advocate no religious belief.
Can we talk/listen to one another?
At the Interfaith Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska we will demonstrate the art of building bridges of godly love, and participation in holy conversation. We can agree to disagree with civility and respect while upholding the core values of our various traditions.
T. Anthony Spearman currently pastors the St. Phillip African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church in Greensboro, NC, serves as the President of the North Carolina Council of Churches and was recently elected as President of the North Carolina NAACP. Spearman has been involved in community activism for the past 46 years and as a former campus minister has rallied college students together over a number of just causes. Spearman has been a constant participant with the Historic Thousands on Jones Street Peoples' Assembly Coalition over the past ten years; is recognized as a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ community (a consultant with Faith in Action and Equality NC); was one of the first organizational plaintiffs in the Voter Suppression Lawsuit against Governor McCrory and the State of NC and was one of the first seventeen persons arrested during the Forward Together Moral Monday Movement. He believes that courage is the foundation to acts of civil disobedience.
Nancy is Associate Professor of Religious Studies and the founding Director of the Department of Multifaith Studies and Initiatives at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College where she was ordained in 1982. She also holds a masters degree from Yale Divinity School and a doctorate from Temple University. With support from the Henry Luce Foundation, Nancy has pioneered innovative community based learning opportunities for rabbinical students and their Christian and Muslim peers. Her current project, "Campus Chaplaincy for a Multifaith World," brings together Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Humanist chaplains serving college campuses. . Nancy is a founding board member of the Interfaith Center of Philadelphia.
Juliane Hammer is associate professor and Kenan Rifai Scholar of Islamic studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She specializes in the study of American Muslims, contemporary Muslim thought, women and gender in Islam, and Sufism. She is the author of Palestinians Born in Exile: Diaspora and the Search for a Homeland (2005) and American Muslim Women, Religious Authority, and Activism: More Than a Prayer (2012), as well as the co-editor of A Jihad for Justice (with Kecia Ali and Laury Silvers, 2012) and the Cambridge Companion to American Islam (with Omid Safi, 2013).
A Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian walk into a concert hall…
What may be mistaken for a stand-up comedian’s opening line is actually Abraham Jam, a trio of internationally-renowned musicians who have teamed up to create art strengthened by diversity.
Abraham Jam–composed of Billy Jonas, David LaMotte, and Dawud Wharnsby–features three “brothers” from the three Abrahamic faiths. Jonas, LaMotte and Wharnsby have performed extensively over the last few decades in their individual careers.
“Harmony is better than unity,” says David LaMotte, who helped create Abraham Jam. “We don’t have to be singing the same note to cultivate peace, we can sing different notes that are beautiful together.”
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DAILY PRAYER FOR PEACE (.pdf)