Interfaith panel series returns with focus on community
The Interfaith Clergy Panel Discussion Series, sponsored by the Wilton Clergy Association and Wilton Interfaith Action Committee (Wi-ACT), returns to Wilton Library on Monday, March 13, with a focus on community.
Wi-ACT Chair Stephen Hudspeth said “living in community and building community” is “a very important issue” and was selected as the focus of this year’s series since “towns — and indeed our whole country — are focused on ways of finding unity and common ground.”
Clergy from different congregations in town will lead the Monday evening panel and open discussions from 7 to 8:30. Each session will focus on a different topic, all of which relate to people’s respective roles within the community:
- March 13: How to practice our spirituality and remain faithful in a secular world.
- March 20: What does it mean to be an American?
- April 3: What does it mean to be a community?
The panel for the first session will include Wilton Presbyterian’s Rev. Shannon White, Zion’s Hill United Methodist Church’s Rev. Peggy Fabrizio, Wilton Congregational’s Rev. Anne Coffman, and Wilton Baptist’s new interim pastor Rev. Marion Aldridge.
Coffman, White and Aldridge will be joined by Temple B’nai Chaim’s Rabbi Rachel Bearman and Our Lady of Fatima’s Father Reggie Norman on the second session panel.
Bearman and Norman will be on the panel for the last session, potentially joined by Dr. Kareem Adeeb, of the American Institute of Islamic and Arabic Studies.
Norman has been organizing the series, said Hudspeth, with the help of Bearman, Coffman, White, Fabrizio and Aldridge, as well as Rev. Alon White, of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, and First Church of Christ, Scientist representative Louise Herot.
Wilton’s Interfaith Clergy Panel Discussion Series has covered “many subjects” over the years, said Hudspeth, “with noted experts in the fields addressing everything from the Hebrew Bible as literature to Hinduism, Islam and Buddhism, to treating each other with civility and respect.”
The objective of the series, he said, has been to not only “engage and inform audiences,” but also “find common ground on subjects that one doesn’t necessarily address every day, and yet which are important to people.”
“We are very proud of the way that our faith communities in Wilton work together — both through the Wilton Clergy Association and as volunteers in everything from meal-packaging to refugee resettlement through the Wilton Interfaith Action Committee,” said Hudspeth.
“We hope — and feel strongly — that this series each year helps to further that objective of finding and nurturing common ground and promoting further dialogue and work for the good together among all of us.”
There is no charge, but donations are welcome and registration for each session is strongly suggested.