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Interfaith Youth Dinner Dialogue

Learning about religions helps us to better understand other people’s perspectives and to gain a greater respect for those around us, no matter their religion. Our Interfaith Youth Dinner Dialogue seeks to challenge stereotypes through enriched dialogues, with the goal to promote world peace. The second Interfaith Youth Dinner Dialogue will center around the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Come and join us and learn with us.

The series “Interfaith Youth Dinner Dialogue” has been launched by the Recruitment Office at UTS. The recruitment team of Joy Theriot, Director of Recruitment and Recruitment Officers, Famidah Dirampaten and David Coulibaly came up with the idea to showcase UTS’s commitment to “bridge religious and cultural divides.”

This slogan which lies at the very heart of the UTS culture is also at the heart of the UTS mission statement:

The Unification Theological Seminary offers educational programs in an interfaith context, which cultivate the heart, mind and spirit; bridge religious and cultural divides; promote leadership, service and engagement with the world; and provide tools for success in ministry and professional life. UTS is committed to the Unification vision of one global family under God.

Joy Theriot worked in Houston, Texas between 2005 and 2011 and since 2007 had been part of an interfaith outreach program focussing on dinner dialogues, which included people of various faiths: Shia and Sunni Muslims, Baptists and Presbyterians, Baha’i and Hindus, Jews and undeclared seekers.

Interfaith Youth Dinner Dialogue flyer3

The dinner dialogue program began as a partnership between Interfaith Ministries (IM), the mayor’s office, and the Boniuk Institute for the Study and Advancement of Religious Tolerance at Rice University. Past IM events ranged from simple dinners hosted in people’s homes to faith-specific events held in a series.

IM brought people of diverse faith traditions together for dialogue, collaboration, and service, as a demonstration of their shared beliefs.

This model is now being duplicated in the heart of New York City. On June 8 the first Interfaith Youth Dinner Dialogue (IYDD) was launched. There was a modest turn out, but the participants were all deeply moved by the sharing about the tenets of the Baha’i faith tradition. The atmosphere in the room was charged. People shared freely, with humor and with wisdom. A wide variety of faith traditions were represented. To honor the Ramadan fasting tradition of the Muslims attending the dialogue, the “dinner” part of the program was moved back half an hour until sunset.