InterFaith Leadership Council's First Virtual Awards and Fundraising Event Is a Success
       The InterFaith Leadership Council’s first virtual awards and fundraising event attracted more than 250 viewers through several online platforms and raised more than $45,000. The online format was necessitated by COVID-19 precautions but it enabled viewers from multiple locations to participate virtually as Father Norman Thomas, Imam Steve Mustapha Elturk and DION were honored.
        Guest speaker john powell’s remarks about the importance of overcoming the “containers” in which we live and view others were thought-provoking and generated interesting questions from viewers. The program and question and answer session were moderated by Saeed Kahn. A video of event highlights can be viewed at  https://youtube/EuCzvZZXl0s.
The question and answer session is available at  https://youtube/X6nnxruIl_8
        The funds raised by this event will help the InterFaith Leadership Council continue its interfaith educational programs for students and adults, as well as its work to build positive relationships among those of all faiths in our community. The board members of the InterFaith Leadership Council thank all participants and donors for their support.
Art and Faith Video Will Premiere on March 22
     More than a year ago, the InterFaith Leadership Council’s Education Committee began planning a special event to feature local artists explaining how faith inspires their art. Originally the Robert Kidd Gallery in Birmingham planned to host an in-person event featuring the artists and individuals invited by the InterFaith Leadership Council.
         When COVID-19 intervened, it was decided to create a video featuring ten artists with examples of their artwork. The artists represent the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religions and an interviewer explores each artist’s creative, religious and spiritual roots. A “trailer” video preview is available at
The complete video will premiere at 7:00 p.m., Monday, March 22 followed by a Zoom question and answer session with the artists. Viewers are asked to consider a donation to view the video; those who want a copy to view with their congregation or another group will be charged $20. Register at
         The video includes contact information for each artist so that viewers can connect with them to see and potentially purchase their work. Participating artists will receive 50 percent from art sales with another 25 percent going to the InterFaith Leadership Council. Artwork can be picked up at the gallery.

Watch a Religious Diversity Journey on Public Television

         Tune in to Detroit Public TV (Channel 56.1) on Monday, March 15th, 7:30 p.m. to watch Kennedy Clawson, a 7th grader from Clawson, visit RDJ partner congregation Temple Israel in West Bloomfield. This unit of Religious Diversity Journey’s virtual format focuses on Judaism and metro Detroit’s Jewish community. Students will explore Jewish beliefs, music, food and weddings. In the photo, Kennedy is in front of the art of Temple Israel's main sanctuary. Rabbi Joshua Bennett is at the right.
A Sikh Perspective on Community Service
        Helping others is a fundamental aspect of most religions, although each faith has a specific perspective on the importance of service or charity and how it should be offered. With input from local religious leaders, the InterFaith Leadership Council newsletter will provide an overview of service for several different religions in upcoming issues, beginning with Sikhism.
        Raman Singh, who is a board member of the Gurdwara Sahib Tripta in Plymouth (a Sikh congregation) and vice chair of the InterFaith Leadership Council, explains that “We believe that God resides in each of us and the only way to serve God is to serve God’s creation. The purpose is to recognize a higher self—the God within us.”
         According to Singh, Sikhs are expected to designate 10 percent of their resources or time in service to others. Service, which is known as seva, can be offered through the mind, body or resources. “The highest service is to share spirituality through the remembrance and understanding of God,” she explains.
         For Sikhs, humility—“selfless service”--is required when serving others. “Don’t serve with ego. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve and blessed with the opportunity to have resources to share,” Singh says. She said that helping people meet basic needs enables them to worship God more intently. Sikhs perform service through their local Gurdwaras and national Sikh initiatives.
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit | 10821 Capital, Oak Park, MI 48237  |[313.338.9777] [email protected]