An Update on the Interfaith Community Values Project
The new Interfaith Community Values Project was the focus of the InterFaith Leadership Council’s November 18th stakeholders meeting. Board member Rev. Jimmie Wafer described the need for this effort:
“We believe that our community is at a difficult crossroads. Our public lives have devolved into expressions of our resentments. Rather than looking upon our diverse community as a source of hope and potential joy, we are too often fearful. We need to do something about this. And so, we come today to present a proposal, The Interfaith Community Values Project….
The genesis of this project comes from the IFLC, which is a faith-based organization. But the concept includes all people of goodwill who desire to come together to share and hear values that incentivize the growth of the ‘Beloved Community.’ The IFLC consists of various faith traditions, however, we are unapologetically here to entertain the value of listening and hearing the important values dear to other people of goodwill…We hope that this will be the beginning of a movement where listening and understanding will add an abundance of moments that lead to inclusive interactions that bring forth appreciation and desire and change and expand the collective mindset that will seek to affirm the value of all creation….
We propose the following Ten Noble Community Values (10) as starting points to focus life-changing and community-building moments of discussion and listening:
· Radical respect for one another
· Curiosity—especially curiosity about our differences
· Care for the stranger
· Demanding ethics—recognizing that what we believe is often very hard to achieve yet necessary that we try
· Conscious anti-bigotry
· Creation care
· By their fruits—recognizing how our actions have consequences for others
Those are at least some of the social values that have emerged from interfaith work over the years. No doubt there are more or, if not more, we will certainly discover different ways to express them. In our diverse community, there is much to learn.”
(Rev. Wafer’s remarks have been slightly condensed above. For the full text, please follow this link on the InterFaith Leadership Council website
Following Rev. Wafer’s remarks, Bob Bruttell, vice chair, discussed ways that individuals and congregations can support this project. They include participation in discussion sessions, providing meeting space for a group discussion, donating funds, serving as a moderator, and connecting the InterFaith Leadership Council with other organizations doing similar work. Response at the stakeholders’ meeting was enthusiastic—attendees confirmed the need for this project. In addition, several individuals offered to host a meeting and at least one organization committed to a significant contribution.
To date, two discussions have been held—one with InterFaith Leadership Council board members and staff, and one with other community leaders. (The IFLC has established an ambitious goal of initiating 50 programs through the first half of 2022.) At least one additional session is being planned for January with a goal of scaling up substantially during the first 6 months of 2022. Bruttell believes that this project will help community participants become conscious of our shared community values and will lead to a growth in understanding, trust and positive action. Individuals who want to participate can contact Kateri Boucher at email@example.com
Video Vignettes Will Highlight Interfaith Leaders and Our Shared Values
A new series of brief video vignettes will highlight a mix of local interfaith leaders as they answer questions about their interfaith work and the importance of supporting strong community values. These video clips will help communicate the goals and discussions of the Interfaith Community Values Project. They will be available on the InterFaith Leadership Council’s website—detroitinterfaithcouncil.com as well as on its Facebook page and in this newsletter.
The first video features Bob Bruttell, vice chair of the InterFaith Leadership Council. The YouTube link is: