Interfaith Forum Ground Rules:
1. It is assumed that people deeply hold their religious beliefs. Therefore, in a spirit of mutual
respect, we may agree to disagree on each other’s points of view.
2. All involved seek to create an environment in which people:
(a) Feel free to share their deepest religious beliefs, i.e. their perceived purpose and
(b) Truly hear each other
3. Panelists and audience are involved in topics to share and educate; not to debate, convert,
proselytize or judge.
4. The program is intended not to proselytize or change the faith of another.
However, individuals may enlighten others to the reality of their faith and thereby dispel myths or
misinformation. The goal is understanding, greater harmony and increased respect.
5. Panelists are asked to prepare presentations on topics which:
(a) Are no longer than the time allotted,
(b) Have as their core, the teachings of the faith, over personal opinion.
(c) Speak only for their own religion
(d) Do not interpret another religion
6. Panelists support the tone of the program and fellow panelists.
2021 INTERFAITH FORUM COMMITTEE
Rabbi Sandford Akselrad, Ms. Geneva Blackmer, Ms. Jolie Breslin, Mr. Rico Campo, Mrs. Annalise Castor, Mr. Marvin Gawryn, Mrs. Francyl Gawryn, The Reverend Dr. Catherine Gregg, Ms. Iris Gross, Reverend Staci Hylton, Mrs. Mitsuko Ikeda, Reverend Leonard B. Jackson, Reverend Dr. Gard Jameson, Ms. Fahima Khalaf, Candace Kant, Ph.D., Mr. Ken Larson, Mr. Teji Malik, Mr. Robert Mecham, Rabbi Yocheved Mintz, Ms. Aleda Nelson, Dennis Ortwein, Ph.D., Imam Mujahid Ramadan, Ellie Roohani, Esq., Pastor Will Rucker, Upinder Singh, MD, Mr. Keith Thomas, Imam Shamsuddin Waheed, Reverend Jim Wallis, Ph.D. Many thanks to the 2020 Forum audiences whose suggestions served as core material for the 2021 topic selections.
In a world torn apart by religious misunderstanding, the goal of the Interfaith Forums is to provide an experience where people can hear different religions’ perspectives in an environment of mutual respect. It is a time and place to hear and be heard. Since 1988 the forums have helped forge strong relationships between members of Southern Nevada’s diverse religious communities.
The annual fall series includes three to five interfaith forums. Each forum features five or six panelists from different world religions, each of whom addresses the same topic from their faith’s scripture or formal public policy. Panelist presentations and a question and answer period last a total of 90 minutes and are held on Sunday evenings.
During 2021 the Forums will be held online via Zoom. Every year prior to 2020 each forum has been held in a different house of worship so that participants can experience the environment, the symbolism and how the physical structure serves the religious community it houses.
1. Ground rules ensure that each speaker can share their religion’s point of view without challenge or debate and that no other panelist will attempt to interpret their religion’s scripture. There is no proselytizing or attempt to convert others to a point of view. Agreeing to disagree on matters of difference is central to the program.
2. Following the presentations from all panelists, audience members address written questions to the moderator who directs the questions to panelists. The moderator selects questions so that each religion receives equal numbers of questions and helps ensure the forum stays on point.
3. In 2020 we will unfortunately not be able to experience the usual conclusion to each forum. In all previous years, the forum evening ends with refreshments and a brief, informal, social time during which panelists and audience members can become better acquainted. The social environment and refreshments are provided by the host congregation.
4. Participants are left to draw their own conclusions. More often than not, the experience is rich, provocative, educational, and inspiring.
All forums are open to the public at no cost.