Madison, WI – This week, people of many faiths and traditions are joining together to celebrate religious diversity at Wisconsin’s Annual Interfaith Awareness Week.
“A variety of religions have holidays in December, and it is a perfect time to celebrate together and learn about Wisconsin’s considerable religious diversity,” said Rev. Selena Fox, Senior Minister of Circle Sanctuary, one of the participating religious communities. “We are pleased to again be part of this important celebration through our participation in the World Religions of Wisconsin exhibits in the Capitol all week and with our Interfaith Open House at Circle Sanctuary Nature Preserve near Barneveld next Saturday.”
This is Wisconsin’s 15th annual Interfaith Awareness Week. Educational displays will be in the Rotunda of the State Capitol Building from December 3 to December 7, and a multi-faith presentation, the annual Capitol Celebration, will be held at Noon on December 5.
“After 15 years, I see we still have interfaith awareness needs,” said Rev. John-Brian Paprock of Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Chapel, founder and co-director of Interfaith Awareness Week. “We need to invite one another continually to the common ground in our communities. We need to invite one another to our houses of worship being good hosts and good guests. We have a need for regular ongoing education about the variety of religious/spiritual groups locally to enable any successful dialogue when crisis occurs. We continue to need multifaith service responses to our community needs.”
In addition to having displays in the Rotunda, a variety of Open House events will be at houses of worship all week.
“We join with people of many religions, spiritualities, and philosophies in praying for peace, understanding and cooperation this month and year-round,” said Rev. Fox, who has been part of the interfaith team organizing this event since it began. “I invite everyone to join us at our Open House and at the Capitol this week to learn, share and celebrate Wisconsin religious pluralism.”
Interfaith Awareness Week (IAW), was founded in 1998 by Rev. John-Brian Paprock, and is coordinated by him and Rev. Anne Wynne of the Madison Eckankar Community. This year’s IAW began with Open Houses held on Sunday at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Chapel, Madison Eckankar Community, the American Hindu Association and the Wisconsin Sikh Society – Middleton Gurdwara. There will be Continuing Dialogue with the Sikh Community on Wednesday, December 5, at 6 pm at Prairie UU Society, 2010 Whenona Way in Madison. The Madison Eckankar Community will be holding a Community HU Prayer Song at 7:30 pm at the Gates of Heaven, 302 East Gorham Street, in Madison’s James Madison Park. The Madison Baha’i Center Open House will be on Thursday from 6:30-9 pm at the Baha’i Center at 324 W. Lakeside St. in Madison.
Circle Sanctuary’s Open House near Barneveld will begin with a potluck lunch at Noon on Saturday, December 8th, followed by a multicultural & interfaith Happy Holidays traditions talk by Rev. Selena Fox at 2pm.Circle Sanctuary also will be sponsoring its 34th annual interfaith and multicultural Winter Solstice Pageant this month. It will be held in the New Auditorium of the First Unitarian Society in Madison on December 21st from 7-9pm. Call 608-924-2216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for directions or for more information.