On the 9/11 tenth anniversary last year, Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell proclaimed 2012 as the Year of Interfaith Understanding, coordinated by the Kaufman Interfaith Institute at Grand Valley. Since then, more than 200 events have been held by area congregations, campuses and community organizations, seeking not only tolerance, but a genuine respect for people and communities of all faiths.
“Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other religious groups have joined to express respect for faith traditions that might differ from one’s own,” said Douglas Kindschi, Kaufman Institute director. “Community organizations from the Grand Rapids Symphony to the Economics Club and The Grand Rapids Press, as well as museums, theater groups, book clubs and service organizations have taken part in the effort.”
Events continue with author, speaker, activist and public theologian Brian McLaren’s only Midwest stop on his book tour, “Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road? Christian Identity in a Multi-Faith World,” Tuesday, September 18, 7 p.m. Eberhard Center. Tickets required, $15 advance, $20 at door; group rates and book pre-order available. Learn more by calling (616) 331-5702, or visit www.2012gr.org.