Interfaith Council of The Thanks-Giving Foundation
A Diverse Council Connected by Goodwill
The Interfaith Council’s mission is to promote harmony, diversity and goodwill among all faiths, as we unite on the common ground of gratitude. The Council, embodied by 26 denominations that cover almost every continent in the world, leads our Goodwill initiative by developing and fostering a broad understanding and appreciation of faith traditions through dialogue, education, visitations and various programs.
The Interfaith Council regularly meets to plan speaker series, visits to local congregations, special prayer vigils, tours, open houses and other community events that bring people together including yoga, poetry and musical performances. Other events include an interfaith thanksgiving celebration, Veterans Day, The National Day of Prayer Luncheon, and Festival of Faiths in both the spring and the fall.
The Interfaith Council serves victims of discrimination, the economically disadvantaged, those grieving from personal loss, children and adolescents, enthusiasts of greenspaces, devotees of art and architecture, as well as our downtown residential neighbors. To help serve our business neighbors, the Council is developing a Best Practices Guide for Diversity in the Workplace.
The Interfaith Council works to transform people by introducing gratitude, virtue and goodwill into their everyday lives, which will transform communities for the better.
INTERFAITH COUNCIL MISSION
The Interfaith Council’s mission is to explore harmony and diversity among all faith traditions, as we unite in gratitude.
- Almas Muscatwalla – Interfaith Council Chair and Board Liaison
Anahita Sidhwa, Zoroastrian Association of North Texas
Anand Upadhyaya, Interfaith practitioner
Anita Zusman Eddy, Executive Director, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Jewish Community Relations Council
Bayan Noori, The Bahá’ís of Dallas
Bryan Lankford, Wiccan Priest
Carl Bell, Wilshire Baptists
Linda Bell, Wilshire Baptists
Charles Barker, Compassionate DFW
Chris Slaughter, Third Church of Christ, Scientist Dallas
Bishop D. D Hayes, Senior Chaplain, DFW Airport Interfaith chaplain.
Diana Tyler, Seventh Day-Adventist, Faith Temple SDA Church Prayer Ministry Leader
Forrest B, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Dallas Texas
Gauthami Vemula, Hindu Tradition
Gurdarshan Brar, DFW Sikh Community
Harbhajan Singh, Gurdwara Nishkam Seva Irving
Rabbi Heidi Coretz, Director of Hillel at SMU and Jewish Chaplain to the University
Harbans Lal, Ph.D, Emeritus Professor and Chairman, Dept of Pharmacology & Neuroscience
Hisham Syed, Islamic Association of North Texas
Huseyin Peker, Executive Director, Dialogue Institute Dallas
Iman S. Rashada, Masjid Al-Islam – Dallas
Jenny Pickett, Lutheran, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Joel Schwitzer, AJC Dallas Regional Director
Kay Lisch, Tibetan Buddhism: KTC Dallas
Keshvar Buhariwalla, Zoroastrian Association of North Texas (ZANT)
Linda Abramson Evans, Founder, Volunteer Guide to Refugee Service Agencies, UN Assoc. Dallas; Lecturer of English as a Second Language, Southern Methodist University
Mark Romney, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Mary Ann Taylor, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Marzuq Abdul Jaami, American Muslim Community
Michelle Golan, Community Outreach & Public Affairs Manager, Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas’ Jewish Community Relations Council.
Nikita Hattangady, Hindu Tradition
Niranjan Hanumanna, Chair, Richardson Interfaith Alliance
Paramjit Kaur cheema (Trustee), Gurdwara Sikh Sangat Euless,Texas
Patricia Murphy, Cathedral Shrine of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Peggy Williams, Third Church of Christ, Scientist Dallas
Pravrajika Brahmaprana, Ramakrishna Vedanta Society of North Texas
Regina Strader Hunt, Ruling Elder, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas
Richard Jernigan, The Urantia Book
Rosie Stromberg, Vice-Chair, Reformed Jewish
Cassandra Washington, Royal Lane Baptist Church
Sherry Wood, Licensed Spiritual Coach, Center for Spiritual Living Dallas
Sonia Pahcheka, Comanche, Dallas Indian Mission of the Oklahoma Indian Mission Conference
Stephen Arbogast, The Episcopal Church
Thomas Mathew, Mar Thoma Church of Dallas
Venerable Mankuang, Abbess/President, IBPS (International Buddhist Progress Society)
Virang Shah, Jain Society of North Texas
Routine gatherings of the Interfaith Council occur up to 10 times per year. Organizational, business, and planning matters are discussed, and announcements are exchanged. Sometimes guests present issues of common concern.
Programs & Initiatives
Programs include a community-wide speaker series, congregational visits to tour sacred spaces and learn about faith traditions, days of service, and prayer vigils on major concerns.
Preliminary meeting and event dates for 2020 are as follows:
- Monday, January 13th at 10:30 am at Thanks-Giving Square: 2020 IFC Rejuvenation Meeting
- Monday, February 10th at 10:30 am: Congregation Visit to The Ismaili Jamatkhana, Plano
- March 2020: Spring Fest (TBD) at Thanks-Giving Square
- Monday, April 20th at 10:30 am: Day of Service @ Refugee Organization (TBD)
- Thursday, May 7th: National Day of Prayer Luncheon
- Monday, June 8th at 10:30 am: Congregation Visit to The Oaklawn United Methodist Church (TBD)
- Monday, September 14th: Together We Lunch (Project Unity TBD)
- Monday, October 12th at 10:30 am: Day of Service @ Homeless Shelter (TBD)
- Monday, November 9th at 10:30 am: Visit to Congregation (TBD)
- December: Festival of Faiths (TBD)
PAST EVENTS & PROGRAMS
- National Day of Prayer Luncheon | May 2, 2018 | Read More
- Spring Festival of Faiths | March 20, 2017 | Read More
- Winter Festival of Faiths | December 18, 2017 | Read More
WELCOMING INTERNATIONAL VISITORS
The U.S. Department of State often requests that the Interfaith Council host international visitors who are being introduced to the customs and organizations of the United States. The Interfaith Council accommodates those visitors at Thanks-Giving Square with information about multi-faith activities.
Recent visitors to Thanks-Giving Square include young adults from Germany, international guests participating in a panel discussion on countering extremist messaging and protecting youth (organized by the World Affairs Council), and visitors from Russia discussing diverse citizen initiatives (organized by the Committee for Citizens Initiatives).