Visit the Bharatiya Temple and Learn about Hinduism on October 21

         The InterFaith Leadership Council will offer an educational program about the philosophy, deities and rituals of Hinduism from 6:30 to
8:30 p.m. on Thursday, October, 21 at the Bharatiya Temple, 6850 N. Adams Road in Troy. Narayanaswamy (Nasy) Sankagiri, a temple member, will guide visitors on a tour.
         Mr. Sankagiri was born and raised in a traditional and scholarly Hindu family in South India and immigrated to the U.S. for graduate study in mechanical engineering. Since receiving his doctorate, he has worked in the automotive industry for the past 30 years. Mr. Sankagiri volunteers at the Bharatiya Temple of Metro-Detroit as chair of its Outreach Committee and seeks to share the experience of Hinduism at area interfaith and social events.
         Registration is limited and is available by email to Jasmine Jenkins at [email protected]. COVID vaccinations and masks are required for participants.

We Welcome Our New Manager of Community Outreach
Kateri Boucher has joined the InterFaith Leadership Council as manager of community outreach. She will focus on building the InterFaith Leadership Council’s “network of networks” and expanding the organization’s reach on social media and its website. 
Boucher was born in Rochester, New York, studied sociology at Hamilton College, and then spent a year with the Quaker Voluntary Service. She moved to Detroit in 2018 following a call to community, and has since called the city home.
In addition to Kateri’s work with the InterFaith Leadership Council, she is associate editor of Geez magazine, a quarterly non-profit magazine about social justice, art and activism targeted to those active or interested in faith-related issues. She is a member of Detroit's Catholic Worker community and a caregiver for elderly folks. Kateri adds that she likes to read, ask questions, and break bread around all sorts of tables. 
New Podcast Explores How COVID Has Changed Worship

The InterFaith Leadership Council has recorded its 11th podcast. Lauren Talley, podcast producer, shares some highlights:

           On our most recent podcast episode, Rev. Robert Jones spoke to clergy about how the pandemic affected the way we worship.          
           Rev. Cynthia Rudolph, senior pastor of Oak Grove AME Church, said her church was well-equipped for online services because they already had a media team, but the church had to invest in new cameras, lighting and microphones. “What we realized is that while we were out with COVID, our only means of getting our words out was online,” she said. “And so we have to make that the best possible production that we could.” While the church is now open at limited capacity, Rudolph says the majority of parishioners still attend services online.
           For Rabbi Dorit Edut, virtual services at Bay City Temple Beth Israel made it possible to reach a wider audience. “The Zoom option in some ways created a new atmosphere where people who had not attended the synagogue or had moved away suddenly appeared at your service,” she said. “For many people, it was just a blessed feeling to be together.”
           The Bharatiya Temple of Metropolitan Detroit also closed its doors to the public, but four Hindu priests maintained the religious rituals, which were streamed online. Ganga Rajkumar, who served as temple president last year, said that virtual worship was a blessing during the pandemic, but is happy to be returning to in-person services again because there’s a lot that can be missed online. “It’s not a matter of just religious activities,” she said. “We also try to develop our cultural practices and, you know, children need to know how we dress...and what is our culture.”
           Shaykh Mohamed Almasmari agreed about the desire to return to in-person services. He’s the imam at the Muslim Unity Center in Bloomfield Hills. “We don't want to gain the outside world and lose our small community,” he said. “So we would rather people come and attend in person on Fridays. So we made the tough decision to end virtual programs.”
           This latest InterFaith Leadership Council podcast exploring faith-related ideas and practices is available on our website and on YouTube at
InterFaith Leadership Council of Metropolitan Detroit | P.O. Box 252271, West Bloomfield, MI 48325
Phone: [313.338.9777] Email contact: [email protected]