December 10, 2022
Are You Following InterFaith Leadership Council?
Keep up with the latest news, events, and updates from IFLC.
Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn

“How Do You Define What is Sacred in Our World Today?"
Bob Bruttell, Vice-Chairman, hosts the InterFaith Leadership Council’s 15th Faith & Works podcast 
Have we abandoned sacredness today? This podcast, “How Do You Define What is Sacred in our World Today?”, explores how we know something is sacred. Many faith traditions hold things to be sacred, but as a society, how do we identify what things are deemed sacred today? “The present we are living in right now feels like a historical pattern wherein America is not able to identify what is sacred. Have we abandoned sacredness?” asks Bruttell.

Is there a way to infuse the sacred into the mundane? Janet Torreano Pound responds, “It isn’t about doing great things; it’s about doing small things with great love.” The simple actions in your day-to-day life can seem mundane, but they are little actions done with great love. Bringing positivity into those small things is God working through you. “God’s Grace is like the oxygen in the atmosphere; it is always there” adds Nasy Sankagiri. Positivity. Recognizing the presence of grace in our lives. These are sacred today.

Listen in as we discuss what is sacred. How do you define it, and how do you know it when you see it? 
Send your comments to [email protected]
Moderated by Rev. Robert Jones – Pastor, Sweet Kingdom Missionary Baptist Church, Musician, Radio DJ for WDET’s “Blues from the Lowlands” and “Deep Waters."
Featured Guests:
✧ Bishop Dr. Corletta J. Vaughn – Pastor, Holy Ghost First Gospel Church, Board Member, Detroit Public Schools
✧Janet Torreano Pound - Casting Director, Author, Writer, Film Director, Actress. Member of Baha’i Faith
✧Narayanaswamy (Nasy) Sankagiri - Chair of Outreach Committee, Bharatiya Hindu Temple of Metro-Detroit, Editor, Temple Quarterly Magazine 

Music by
Is Today's Antisemitism Different?
A Personal Commentary on the Rise of Antisemitism
Bryant M. Frank, Board of Directors

As Mark Jacobs recently described in the on-line magazine, Nu? Detroit (Where’s the Outrage?)
This has been a rough year for American Jews, to put it mildly. Jews make up about 2.4% of the population and are the victims of more than 60% of all religious hate crimes. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reports that antisemitic incidents — defacing synagogues and cemeteries, harassment and physical assaults against Jews — happen multiple times a day and are now at an all-time high. Hateful actions against Jews are certainly nothing new, but things feel differently these days. For many Jews, antisemitism in America now seems overlooked, tolerated and, even worse, mainstreamed.

Mark’s statements are simultaneously sobering and insightful. It does feel different. Since reading his op-ed, I have given much thought to the “how” and “why” of it. These are the personal reflections of a 66-year-old Jewish male, born and raised in Greater Detroit. My memories from the early 1960s include my parents teaching me about the civil rights movement and how, as Jews, it is commanded that we protect the stranger and pursue justice. I do not remember antisemitism being a dinner table conversation, even though it existed in our community, and even though I personally experienced it. I attended Southfield High, which, at the time, I believe, was probably about 30% Jewish. Yes, the bathroom stalls always had swastikas etched into the walls, and the “Greasers,” with their Jew-baiting comments and German Iron Cross pendants were ever-present. I even remember walking into Dearborn high school gym in 1973 as a member of the varsity basketball team and hearing, “Gimme a ‘K’, Gimme an ‘I,’ Gimme a ‘K’ . . .” I was angry, yes, but not shocked and, importantly, I wasn’t fearful.... 

Read the full commentary from Bryant M. Frank, Board of Directors for IFLC, as well as our statement, "The Rise of Antisemitism in America" here:
Religious Diversity Journeys Continues to Make an Impact
Religious Diversity Journeys gathered for a visit to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in West Bloomfield.

Students enjoyed a day filled with Christian history and education, a tour of the facility, and participated in making blankets for those in need.

Thank you to IFLC's very own President, Greg Geiger, and Secretary, Karin Dains for supporting this journey and making it memorable for the students.
For more information on our RDJ program, please visit: Religious Diversity Journeys
A Perspective on the Importance of the Church Legacy in Detroit

By Robert Bruttell, Vice-Chair

Since Detroit was first planted on the shores of the straits between what would become America and Canada by Antoine de Mothe Cadillac in 1701 settlers have thought their faith in God must have a home. That impulse has never waned. It blossomed into thousands of places of worship today. From the simple wooden structure of St. Anne’s to the wonderful stone structure of the Episcopal St. Paul’s Cathedral as well as the Roman Catholic Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, both on Woodward, the faithful have built churches, through good times and bad, in which to celebrate religious rituals, share fellowship and express their faith in countless other ways. 

This documentary, produced by Keith Famie, emphasizes the churches where Christians worship. He could have done the same for Muslim mosques, Hindu Temples and Jewish synagogues. Detroit is a place of religious expression across all faiths. 

It is important to document these expressions - in this case Christian - because the heyday of Church participation is trending lower these days and with it will decline the resources to maintain these structures, not to mention the congregations that hold them sacred. We should never allow a loss of the memory of abolitionists who routed the Underground Railroad through Second Baptist Church. We should never lose appreciation for the ethnic Catholics who pooled their meager resources to build magnificent edifices. We should always be able to marvel at the artistry of the architecture and the marvelous stained glass that graces their windows. 

Possibly more problematic for our community is that the social outreach these churches provided will also decline. People of faith make a huge and impactful contribution to our social fabric. They anchor neighborhoods; provide food, health services, clothing, emergency assistance, in addition to on-the-job training and counseling to people who need a faith filled safety net. We should worry that contribution might disappear. For that concern, as well as the sheer beauty of these sacred spaces being lost to our community’s well-being, we should take note of this documentary. What we take away and how we respond will be important. 
“Detroit: The City of Churches,” debuting on Detroit Public TV (PBS) Dec. 12, 2022 at 8 p.m.

The film, introduced by Detroit longtime news personality Chuck Gaidica, takes the audience on an in-depth look at Detroit’s history from the perspective of 17 of Detroit’s most beloved and iconic houses of worship
For a List of Upcoming Events in
Metro Detroit Visit:

Celebrating Diversity
Religious Holidays This Month
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit | P.O. Box 252271, West Bloomfield, MI 48325
Phone: [313.338.9777] Email contact: [email protected]