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Interfaith Dinner Dialogue Explored the Meaning of Compassion in the Context of Faith

On October 25, over 130 people gathered at the Strathmoor Presbyterian Church for the annual Interfaith Dinner and Dialogue, hosted by Highland Community Ministries, an ecumenical organization in the Highlands which provides social services to citizens of Louisville.

In addition to the dinner, which was catered by Asiatique restaurant, and after a universal opening prayer by executive director of Interfaith Paths to Peace, Terry Taylor, a panel featuring representatives of several faiths made presentations on the meaning of compassion in their respective faiths.

Tom Williams, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s coordinator for the “Compassionate Louisville” campaign, moderated the panel. Among the speakers was Rabbi Michael Wolk of Knesseth Israel Congregation, who spoke about the Jewish High Holiday plea for compassion from God, as expressed in the Avinu Maklenu prayer.

Jahangir Cyrus of the Baha’i community spoke about the plea for universal compassion as expressed by the founder of the Baha’i Faith, Bahaullah; and Anne Walter (along with Geshe Sangay Rapgyal), representing the Buddhist Community, relayed the words of the Dalai Llama, a prayer for universal understanding among peoples.

Rev. Joe Phelps of Highland Baptist Church presented the Christian perspective; Kiaresh Jahed of the Pakistani American Community presented the Muslim perspective; and Ashoc Raj of the Hindu Temple of Kentucky presented the Hindu perspective.

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