Past Events

TIA Habitat for Humanity Build – June 2019

9 Habitat builders signed up thru Kadampa with Mormons, Lutherans, Baptists, Muslims, Americorps volunteers, and Habitat for Humanity workers. Some volunteers were from other states (Utah) and countries (Thailand and Japan)!! Truly Interfaith and Intercultural!!

TIA Annual Dinner – February 2019

The Triangle Interfaith Alliance held its annual dinner on February 21, 2019 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The well-attended dinner included a panel discussion on volunteerism featuring representatives from the U.S. Committee on Refugees and Immigrants, HOPE International, Habitat for Humanity, with additional information provided by JustServe.org and Rise Against Hunger.  Delicious food was provided by Tandoor.  We were all edified by Bill Bingham who was honored with TIA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.  A sincere “thank you” to all who participated and attended.  We look forward to a 2019 filled with interfaith service, deepened relationships and greater understanding.

Interfaith Initiative Cleanup for Hurricane Florence Victims – October 2018

On Saturday, October 13, 2018, William Calhoun coordinated an Interfaith Initiative to bring together a group of Buddhists and Mormons who joined willing hearts and hands to clean up over 8 large trees that had been felled by Hurricane Florence on 2 properties near Rocky Point, NC. Each job ended with a prayer of dedication and blessings with the grateful homeowners.

TIA Annual Dinner – February 2018

Location: Islamic Association of Raleigh
Theme: We Are All One
Speaker: David Crabtree, news anchor, WRAL TV

Peace Booth – October 2017

The Peace Booth is a visible presence at the North Carolina State Fair that lets fairgoers know that there are viable alternatives to the militarism and violence.

TIA Annual Dinner – February 2017

Location: Church of Jesus of the Latter Day Saints, Cary
Speaker: Jill Bullard, co-founder of the Interfaith Food Shuttle

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity of Wake County was interested in kicking off a Program to build affordable Houses in the Raleigh area with volunteers from various faith communities in the Raleigh area. TIA organized an info meeting about this new initiative and invited members of local faith groups & Habitat for Humanity. The ‘Interfaith Build’ Program has been building one affordable house in the Raleigh area for the past 5 years or so.

Meeting with Foreign Students

For past few years, TIA board members have taken part to meet with foreign students studying at NC State. The purpose of these sessions is to explain the TIA mission & activities and also answer any question they may have on any religion. TIA Board members have also met with Middle East delegations invited by the US State Department, to expose them to multi faith communities in the US.

Amazing Faith Round Table Dinner Discussions

A few years ago, on an annual basis, TIA organized pot luck dinners with members of different faiths to meet at host’s home. These dinners were meant to increase understanding of other faiths, with dinner conversations in a pleasant & friendly setting.

Rise Against Hunger

A few years ago, TIA worked with Rise Against Hunger (previously Stop Hunger Now) organization, in raising funds & volunteers from various faith groups in the Raleigh area to organize a food packaging activity at their warehouse facility in Raleigh. This event not only helped in making 10,000 packages ready to be shipped to needy areas, but also gave a hands on experience to many volunteers from different faith groups. Thus, this worthwhile service activity was brought to the attention of more faith groups.

Festival of Lights

A Festival of Lights Celebration was held at CUCC to bring people of different together to share their cultural customs of celebrations that take place during late Fall – such as Diwali for Hindus, Hanukah for Jews, Christmas for Christians which all include lighting candles / lamps as part of celebrations. A pot luck dinner with dishes from different faiths was enjoyed by all attendees.

TIA Annual Dinner – February 2016

Location: Held at Temple Beth Or
Topic: Social Justice from a Jewish Perspective
Speaker: Rabbi Lucy Dinner

TIA Annual Dinner – February 2015

Location: Temple Beth Or
Speaker: Imam Khalid Griggs, associate chaplain of Muslim life at Wake Forest University

TIA Annual Dinner – February 2014

Location: Temple Beth Or
Speaker: Dr. William J. Barber II, President of the North Carolina NAACP and leader of the Moral Monday Movement will speak on the upcoming Historic Thousands on Jones Street Rally and the impetus behind this growing movement

Sikh Gurudwara Special Service – April 2013

Location: Sikh Gurudwara of North Carolina
The Sikh Gurudwara of NC held a special service to accommodate a group of Seminary students and their professor from The Southeastern Baptist Seminary in Wake Forest. There was a brief service consisting of singing of hymns, a retirement of the Guru Granth Sahib (their Scripture), a brief presentation, and an opportunity for questions and answer followed by a vegetarian meal (Langar). 

Amazing Faiths Dinner Dialogues – Nov 2011 & Nov 2012

An evening of dinner and dialogue with a trained facilitator who will guide the discussion based on specially designed dialogue cards. Participants are assigned to host’s homes to assure diversity and encourage dialog.

Walk for Values – October 2011

Location:  Brickyard, NC State University Campus
A walk to celebrate and promote the Human Values and to educate people on the importance of practicing them daily. Each step taken during the walk for values is a step towards positive change.

NC Remembers September 11 – September 2011

Location: Community United Church of Christ
Join Triangle Interfaith Alliance for an observance of UN International Peace Day. Watch the movie Globalized Soul and stay for refreshments and conversation.

Habitat for Humanity Abraham Build – September 2011

Location: 515 Parnell Drive, Raleigh, NC
Habitat for Humanity of Wake County hosted a peace and solidarity event to commemorate the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Attendees gathered in front of the organization’s first Abraham Build home, which was sponsored and built by volunteers from diverse faiths, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and other faith groups. This was the first home built in Wake County by Habitat for Humanity that is being sponsored by such a diverse group. Speakers at the event included Abdullah Antepli (Muslim Chaplain, Duke University), and Former Rep. Bob Etheridge.

July Book Study – July 2011

The New American Spirituality by Elizabeth Lesser, Co-founder of the Omega Institute
Description from the book jacket: “In 1977, Lesser co-founded the Omega Institute, now America’s largest adult education center focusing on wellness and spirituality. Working with many of the eminent thinkers and practitioners of our times in the fields of religion, psychology, mysticism, science, and healing, Lesser found that the hunger for a spiritual life can be satisfied by a rich blend of the world’s wisdom traditions. In “The New American Spirituality” she synthesizes the lessons she has learned from different belief systems, and intertwines them with illuminating stories from her life as a seeker, teacher, daughter, wife, and mother… Lesser provides directions through the four landscapes of the spiritual journey: The Mind, the Heart, the Body and the Soul.”
Study led by Rev. Steve Halsted and Rev. Nancy Huslage

Triangle Interfaith Alliance Community Dialogue – April 2011

Location: Avent Ferry United Methodist Church
Topic: New Beginnings
Speakers: Baha’i: Jack Thatcher, Native American: Lana Dial, Sikh: Dharampal Singh Rihal

TIA Annual Dinner – February 2011

Vigils Against Violence – January 2009

A vigil for all of Raleigh’s 2008 homicide victims
2008 witnessed a devastating rise in the number of homicides in our city. 34 members of our community were killed in acts of violence. Currently there is an overwhelming silence from the community after loss of life due to violence. We feel violent death deserves reflection and response, not complacency – especially when so many violent deaths involve young people in their teens and twenties. We feel that to ignore this violence is to implicitly accept it. Vigils Against Violence encourages the changing of community norms from a passive acceptance of violence to an active rejection of it on moral, ethical and spiritual grounds.

TIA Annual Meeting – January 2009

A look back at 2008, as well as upcoming programs and interfaith work for 2009.
Guest Speaker: F. Nelson Stover. Mr. Stover is President of the Board of Directors of the Institute of Cultural Affairs International. ICA’s mission is to advocate for and actualize the fundamental right of all peoples to define and shape their own futures, toward the goal of realizing sustainable, just solutions to human challenges.

World AIDS Day Interfaith Worship Service & AIDS Quilt Panels – November 2006

Several TIA members participated in the World AIDS Day Interfaith Worship at First Baptist Church and viewed the AIDS Memorial Quilt, an ever-growing national art project honoring those we have lost to AIDS.

Vigils Against Violence – November 2006

We can give thanks for the low number of homicides generally in Raleigh, yet take note of two more lost lives. The scene is the 1100 block of S. East Street at Bragg St. where two men, Lashawn Perez, 21, and Jeremiah Stirrup, 23, were shot on October 29 in an apparent gang related shooting. Also, Shamonte Pasir, 21, shot to death on November 10, will be remembered. Poverty, crime, and guns meet at this intersection where so many struggle to combine home and safety instead. Please say your own no to gun violence and the early death of African American males by being there. This interfaith, interracial group gathers for prayer and remembrance whenever there is a homicide in the city Raleigh. Rev. Rachel Smith will be the clergy leader marking these as the 18th homicides in 2006.

Vigils Against Violence – October 2006

Yet another woman has died in a homicide in Raleigh. Cynthia Joan Edwards was stabbed to death at Seawell Ave on October 6. Prayers were offered by clergy leader Rev. Rachel Smith; flowers supplied by Raleigh’s Flower Shuttle project. Wage peace.

Interfaith Alliance of Wake County Annual Meeting – October 2006

Location: Hindu Society of NC
A look back at 2006, as well as upcoming programs and interfaith work for 2007.

“What’s Great About You” Workshop – October 2006

This workshop is part of the new Leadership Certification program offered by the Triangle Interfaith Youth Alliance. An all-positive and upbeat workshop where everyone has the opportunity to speak in front of a group and hear what others see as your natural strengths. Each person receives a card listing those special strengths. Everyone is encouraged to give feedback to others, listen with attention, and respect others. Participate in fun exercises that build your awareness of your genuine courage; to feel gratitude, hope and happiness; and to understand that external situations do not determine who you are. 

Kolu Celebration of Navratri (Hinduism) – October 2006

Location: Home of Ravi and Savitha Ravishankar
TIYA youth invited to bring a musical instrument, song, poem, or piece of art to perform or display.

Charity Walk for Child Rights – October 2006

Location: Black Creek Trail, Cary
Annual charity walk for child rights, organized by CRY Child Relief and You America. The walk is followed by a performance from ZINDAGI, a world beat band that includes Padmini Hands, mother of TIYA member Shanti Hands, performing South Asian, African, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, and other dance music. By participating in this event, you will help ensure that children have the freedom to exercise their basic rights – to education, health, a warm and loving family, and fun – in short, to a happy childhood.

An Interfaith Forum on Stigma and Separation – September 2006

Positive People Involved in North Carolina Campaign to End AIDS Triangle Interfaith Alliance
Location: First Baptist Church of Raleigh Fellowship Hall
Topic: How Do We Measure a Life – From Love or Judgment?
Speakers: A Member of Presidential Committee on HIV, a Crisis and Assessment Expert, An HIV Clinic Director, and Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim and Christian panelists

Vigils Against Violence – May 2006

On Memorial Weekend, we held a vigil to mark two more violent Raleigh deaths, bringing us to a total of nine this year. Two homicides occurred in April: Gina B. Loeh, 52, died April 25 from head injuries received in a scuffle outside a Ross Dress for Less store, and 60 year-old Kenneth Bray died April 31 from head lacerations in a fight with his old neighbor. Rev. Rachel Smith was the clergy leader.

Vigils Against Violence – April 2006

This Vigil Against Violence marked the March 23 and 24th homicides of Steven Anthony Poole, 39, and Earl Thierry Brown, 42. Mr. Poole’s mother, Rosa Poole, who is also the grandmother of the accused perpetrator, Michael Poole, invited us to hold this vigil in her yard on Alston St. Father David McBriar, formerly active with similar vigils in Durham, was the clergy leader.

Vigils Against Violence – February 2006

Led by Rev. Nancy Petty of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, a vigil was held to mourn two recent homicides in Raleigh. Vigils Against Violence supporters met on Camden St., at the very location where we held a vigil in March 2005 for Keith O. Kelly, killed by a Bloods gang member. Christopher Dominique McCullers, age 19, was shot and killed in front of the Birchwood Apts. on Feb. 9. At that site, we also recognized the violent death of Brenda Fox, age 42, killed only blocks away on Pettigrew St. the following day, Feb. 10. Friends and families of both victims were invited to attend and participate. Attendees were encouraged to stand against violence, speak out in the face of gangs, and pray for the bereaved and for these neighborhoods.

Interfaith Alliance / Exploris Global Faiths Forum Series – Jan-Feb 2006

Speakers:
Hinduism: Dr. B.S. Gupta, NCSU, Hinduism Based on Ancient Vedic Faith
Islam: Iman Ibrahim Pasha, Associate Imam of the Atlanta Masjid of Al-Islam, Atlanta, GA
Buddhism: Mr. Ben White, member of the Kadampa Center and senior teacher, Raleigh, NC
Judaism: Dr. Kalman Bland, Duke University Professor of Religious Studies, Durham, NC
Jainism: Dr. Pravin Shah, NCSU
Sikhism: Dr. Kuldeep Singh, Toledo, OH

Vigils Against Violence – January 2006

Rev. David Forbes of Christian Faith Baptist Church will lead us in mourning the violence which led to the deaths of Jerome Anthony McAllister and Victor Herrera.

Vigils Against Violence – January 2006

A candlelight Service of Comfort and Remembrance. The friends and families of the 20 victims of homicide in 2005 invited to attend and participate. Led by Pastor Dave Amidon of St Philip Lutheran and Rev. Nancy Petty and Rachel Smith of Pullen, the vigil will include special recognition of four victims who lost their lives in shootings in December–Travis Earl Holder, Paul Berkley, Cesar Romo, and Charles Maurice White.

TIA Annual Dinner – October 2005

Location: Longview Center, Raleigh
Speaker: Michiel Doorn, a noted Envionmentalist who works with faith communities to address causes and consequences of global climate change.
Topic: Toward Environmental Justice: An Integrated Scientific and Spiritual Worldview
Musical performance by Zindagi (http://www.zindagimusic.com)

A Thousand Cranes Performance – October 2005

St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in conjunction with the Justice Theatre Project presents: “A Thousand Cranes in Celebration of the Feast of St. Francis” (Followed by a Prayer Service for Peace)
Location: St. Francis of Assisi Church, Raleigh

Interfaith Festival of Music, Dance and Art – September 2005

Location: Long View Center, Raleigh, NC

The performance showcased sacred song and ceremonial dance. This was the fourth year that the Alliance has planned and hosted such an event. The performance featured an array of devotional music and movement from eight faith communities. Building on the success of prior years, the public was invited to a fascinating glimpse of the spiritual traditions of the diverse religious groups in the Triangle area.

Last year’s event included a Bharat Natyam dance from the Hindu tradition, Turkish Sufi devotional music, Jewish folk songs, Sikh hymns, Vietnamese Buddhist chant and ceremonial dance, Jain prayers, Congolese Christian hymns, and Baha’i music with a Latin flair. In prior years, we have also hosted adult and children’s choirs from area Christian churches, a Native American dance troupe, and children’s groups from Jain, Sikh, and Muslim communities.

This year’s performance partners with Exploris to offer an array of free afternoon performances and activities highlighting some of the different international communities living here in the Triangle. Highlights included an opening show at Longview Center’s new gallery, featuring spiritual based work, which will be housed on the ground floor of the Center as a permanent exhibit space.

Vigils Against Violence – June 2005

Vigil to honor the memory of Dujuana (Toni) Massenburg, who was found strangled on May 16; her estranged husband has been charged. Mother of three young children and beloved by her co-workers, her life was the focus of the vigil, led by Rev. Rachel Smith, clergy, of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church. This interfaith, inter-racial, interdenominational service offers all a chance to take a stand against violence. We seek your presence and your prayers on behalf of this victim of violence and her surviving family and friends.

Submission to The People’s Forum – May 2005

forum@newsobserver.com
May 23, 2005
Ethical lapse

Your May 22 article “’Temps’ Demand Benefits” illustrated the difference between legal and ethical. The North Carolina Administrative Code requires the State to offer benefits to all its workers after 12 months of uninterrupted employment. It appears that the State as an employer, has found a loophole that has allowed agencies to evade the intent and spirit of State law by requiring temps to take a month of unpaid leave upon reaching each 11 months of uninterrupted employment.

This practice may or may not turn out to be legal but it is surely not fair or ethical to create a loophole to evade the need to pay benefits to permanent “temp” employees. Referring to unethical behavior in our society, “The Ethical Framework,” a publication of the Interfaith Alliance of Wake County, states “Finding ways to get what is wanted by intentionally violating the intent and spirit of laws is a common occurrence.” It also states “Following the basic intent would eliminate any tendency to seek loopholes or avoidance techniques.”

What would be wrong if Gov. Mike Easley, as CEO of the state, issues a proclamation that all employees, persons, and companies, in their business relationship with the state, must not only comply with the letter of the law, but must also comply with the intent and spirit of the law and reject evasion loopholes? Would that be refreshing and perhaps place North Carolina as a leader in promoting ethical behavior?

Martin Jacobs
Martin Jacobs is Ethics Chair of The Interfaith Alliance of Wake County

Press Release – May 2005

(RALEIGH) The Interfaith Alliance of Wake County today expressed its solidarity with those members of the Durham community who have been recently targeted by a hateful display of cross burnings Wednesday night in Durham. According to the Associated Press, three large crosses were burned in separate spots around Durham, North Carolina, during a span of just over an hour, and yellow fliers with Ku Klux Klan sayings were found at one location.

TIA Wake County, an organization composed of people of good will from diverse faiths and backgrounds who believe that the faith community as a whole should be a force for good, issued the following statement calling upon religious leaders of all faiths to express their support for those in the Durham community:

Today we stand with all those in the Durham community affected by the intolerant, prejudiced acts of Wednesday evening. The Interfaith Alliance of Wake County believes that hatred is neither a religious nor American value. We call upon all people of faith and goodwill who value religious diversity and pluralism to unite in sending a message condemning prejudice.

Hatred of any form is intolerable in our society. The sacred scriptures of many different faith traditions speak with one voice on the subject of intolerance. If we aspire to be true to the core of our religious traditions, we cannot condemn hate and then sit idly by while it destroys our communities. Together we must act to protect those among us targeted by hate. Together we must work to create a society in which diverse people are safe as well as free.

Thursday morning United States Representatives John Conyers (D-MI), Barney Frank (D-MA), Lleana Ros-Lehiten (R-FL) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Tammy Baldwin, (D-Wis.), reintroduced the bipartisan Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2005. This legislation would increase protections against hate crimes committed on the bases of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

While legislation alone cannot remove hatred from the hearts and minds of individuals, it can help foster a society where hate-motivated violence is deemed intolerable. The interfaith community must unite in showing its contempt for all demonstrations of hate. We pray for the healing of those in the Durham community.

# # #

Since 1996, The Interfaith Alliance of Wake County (TIA-WC) has worked to be a unifying force in society with emphasis on agreement and positive attitudes. TIA Wake County focuses on building common bonds around which all people can come together, work together, and learn together.

TIA-WC is an all-volunteer networking organization composed of people and congregations of diverse faiths and backgrounds. We are an autonomous organization open to all people of good will who support our purposes.

Padmini Hands, TIA-WC President

Vigils Against Violence – May 2005

Vigil Against Violence for Jamie Mendoza Penaloza, killed on April 7, one of two homicides that night. Rev. Rachel Smith was the clergy leader.

Vigils Against Violence – April 2005

Pastor David Amidon of St Philip Lutheran led a vigil to mark the violent shooting death of Keith Kelly on March 20. A second event commemorating Bryan Horton, shot to death on March 28, was led by Rev. Rachel Smith of Pullen Memorial Baptist Church.

Global Faiths Forum on Judaism – February 2005

Location: Exploris Museum, Raleigh
This session will be presented by Rabbi Raachel Jurovics on Judaism. Admission is free and all are welcome.

Interfaith Alliance / Exploris Global Faiths Forum Series – 2004 & 2005

Topic: Hinduism / Sikhism / Islam / Buddhism / Jainism / Baha’i faiths.

Festival of Music and Dance – 2003 & 2004