Download our 2018-2019 poster as a pdf.  11 x 8.5"     17 x 11"

A Statement of Solidarity: Identity Violence
Political Discourse and Civility by John Eby (Editorial in the TH 11-25-18)
We've had 7 great years of conversations and activity, thanks to all our friends in the Dubuque area. This is our #8. Keep our interfaith dialogue active; be part of the conversation.
Children of Abraham Conversations: (Thursdays at 7pm)

Sept 27: Seeking Truth - Temple Beth El, 475 W Locust (Dinner starts at 6pm)

Oct 18: Prayer, Body and Soul - Multicultural Family Center, 1157 Central Ave

Nov 15: Evil - Loras College, Alumni Center Ballroom

Jan 31: Forgiveness - St. Anthony's Church, 870 St Ambrose St

Feb 21: The Arts - University of Dubuque, Hadley Auditorium, Tech Center

Mar 21: Death and Dying - Tri State Islamic Center, 4980 Radford Court

Apr 11: Superheroes of Faith - Emmaus Bible College, 2570 Asbury Road, Chapel


Children of Abraham Activities & Hospitality Festivals:

In addition to our exciting conversations, we organize activities and other events. For example, there is Qur’an Study every Wednesday: 5:30-6:30pm in the Interfaith Prayer Space (Alumni Campus Center 580) at Loras College. You are certainly welcome.


And now a new activity: The CoA Book Group.

As part of the Children of Abraham's mission to create an "atmosphere of civic life that builds inter-religious solidarity, cooperation, and friendship", we are happy to announce our first Book Group. Starting February 9 at 10am, we are going to explore the ideas in Abraham Joshua Heschel's marvelous little book, The Sabbath. If you haven't encountered it before, many of Heschel's ideas have migrated to main religious denominations since its first publication in 1951. The book is short and full of profound insights and wisdom. Ideal for a book group. We will discuss two chapters each session. We meet at Temple Beth El at 10 AM to discuss the ideas in the book on the following Saturdays for one hour: February 9 & 23, March 9 & 30, and April 13.

Come and try it out. We'll even have coffee and bagels. If you want to get the book, we recommend you to our local River Lights Bookstore, (563) 556-4391, on Main Street in Dubuque. You even get a discount if you tell them this is for the Children of Abraham's Book Club. Nothing to lose and a few calories to gain. I hope to see you at some of the discussions.


Who and What We Are:

We are an organized group in the Dubuque, Iowa, area that believes in and acts to have meaningful interfaith conversations. We have finished our third year,'s time to get serious - website, more activities - that sort of stuff. So, plan to join us for our fourth year, coming up 2014-2015. These conversations are aimed at enhancing understanding of religious traditions in a non-threatening, non-competitive environment. These conversations are not debates but rather dialogues grounded in civility, a willingness to listen to others, and a commitment to learn and reflect with respect. We love round table group discussions, when possible - often with a bit of food (who doesn't?).


Who and What We Are - the Video

10 minute documentary from Spring 2015 by Loras students Lina Rodriguez Araujo and Mareah Adolphs. Thanks to Lina, Mareah and all who participated. Yes, it's 3 years old. But very little has changed except the shrill from Washington. Once again, a great reflection on our community.

- Interview with Adib Kassas in the Telegraph Herald, March 9, 2019
Interview with Adib Kassas in the Telegraph Herald

Read the entire interview, click here.

- Video of the 11-15-18 Q&A session, hosted by Stacia McDermott at Loras College. Topic: Evil.

- October 26, 2017: Martin Luther and Antisemitism
In this, the 500 year anniversary of Martin Luther's 95 theses nailed to the door of Wittenberg Castle church, we will discuss antisemitism in Luther's writings.

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 1755 Delhi St, Dubuque. 7-8:15pm.

There are three distinct parts to this presentation. First, Professor Craig Nessan, Academic Dean and Professor of Contextual Theology at Wartburg Theological Seminary, will present his Luther research and his recent publication about Luther and antisemitism. Second, Professor John Eby, Associate Professor of History and Chairperson for Faculty Senate at Loras College will address issues of Medieval antisemitism. Third, Professor Alan Garfield, Professor of Digital Art and Design and Director of the Bisignano Art Gallery at the University of Dubuque, will talk about the rise of antisemitism in America in the 21st century.

- September 24, 2017: Concert for NonViolence at U of Dubuque
Our inter-religious group believes in the sacredness of life. Civil discourse and love of humanity are at the core of everything we try to do. In this event, we joined with DACU - Dubuque Area Congregations United (, the Dubuque Coalition for Non-Violence and the Dubuque International Day of Peace in sponsoring this Concert for NonViolence.

As part of the week long International Day of Peace celebration, the Concert for NonViolence is a combination two-hour concert and reflection on nonviolence. The power of music to reach far and wide has fueled countless important movements in recent decades. Now is the time to turn up the music to turn down the hateful rhetoric that has become a hallmark of the gun debate. All invited. Musicians: Kristina Castaneda, Ralph Kluseman, and Linda Niemann. Speaker: Alan Garfield “Nonviolence in the Abrahamic Tradition”.

WI Council of Churches Interfaith Report
Sr. Betty Kugi shares this marvelous resource from the Wisconsin Council of Churches. Their publication is "Loving our Interfaith Neighbors: A Study-Action Guide" which can be downloaded here.

Various Events 2015-2016 (in addition to our Thursday night discussions):
- February 20, 2016. RIVERCROSSING Storytelling and Interfaith Conference at Loras College, sponsored by IFYC, Clarke University, Loras College and the University of Dubuque.

Recent Past Highlights.
- Interfaith Discussion at the Dyersville Library, 9-2-17.
- Peace Rally - From Paris to Chapel Hill: A Neighborly Stand Against Religious Prejudice.
        Monday, March 9, 2015.

This was a time for the Dubuque community to join together (hence the neighborly) with UD/Loras/Clarke/Wartburg and other students, faculty, and Dubuquers to rally against religious intolerance. Over 200 folks came. Local, regional and national interest.

Why? (Do you really have to ask?) We have been witnessing violence because of intolerance with increased frequency this year. This is not only about the rise of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, though it is clearly about that, but also about the savage violence done to those of different races and religions. Plain and simple, we’re doing this because this is, in fact, what we at the Children of Abraham stand for. And we feel compelled to stand in solidarity especially with our Jewish and Muslim neighbors at this time.

- C of Abraham article in PC(USA) online in 2015.
Thank you Bonnie Sue Lewis, from Westminster Presbyterian Church and the Children of Abraham Board, and Melody Smith, from Prebyterian News Service, for an online article in PC(USA)'s website:
- Comedian Azhar Usman, March 5, 2015 at 7pm.
This was indeed a special event. This Muslim comedian came to Dubuque to do a stand up comedy act at Loras College at 7 pm. Thanks to grants from the City of Dubuque Arts and Culture Commission and Loras College's Kucera Center for Catholic Studies, this event was open and free to the public, and 300 people came - laughed and reflected. Thanks John and Stacia for all your hard work.  azhar usman poster 8.5x11.pdf    
Past Topics have included:
- Love and Sex.
- Creation.
- God.
- Abraham.
- Moses.
- Women.
- Conversion and Proselytizing.
- Civil Disobedience.
- Prayer.
- Joseph.
- Scripture Studies.
Past Conversations and Celebrations...2014-2016
Pictures from our 1-31-16 event, Songs of the Soul, at Sinsinawa Mounds on Sunday afternoon. Thanks to Fr. Dustin Lyon for organizing this chant and fellowship time.
Pictures from our 1-28-16 event, Torah Study, at Clarke University.
Pictures from our 12-1 and 12-3 2015 event. Jerusalem 3D Film at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. 130 people, 2 nights.
Pictures from our 11-19-15 event. The Purpose of Life Conversation. Temple Beth El. With over 180 people, we're not used to SRO; special thanks to our Saudi students. KCRG news article.
Pictures from our 10-24-15 event. Festival Hospitality. Tri-State Islamic Center. 10th of Muharram.
Pictures from our 10-15-15 Conversation. Scripture study of the Qur'an at Wartburg Seminary.
Pictures from our 9-29-15 event. Festival Hospitality. Sukkot at Temple Beth El with a dinner.
Pictures from our 9-27-15 event: Needless Victims: Against Gun Violence at UDubuque.
Pictures from our 4-16-15 event: The Afterlife at Wartburg Seminary.
Pictures from our 3-9-15 event: Peace March from Loras, Clarke and Wartburg with A Neighborly Stand Against Religious Prejudice at UD.     TH Frontpage News Article
Pictures from our 11-20-14 event: Noah in the 3 Traditions.
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Pictures from our 11-13-14 event Carrie Newcomer: Singer, Songwriter, Spiritualist.

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Don't forget to visit us at Children of Abraham Facebook page

Join us for the 7th (and final) conversation event of the year - Thursday, April 11: Superheroes of Faith - Emmaus Bible College, 2570 Asbury Road, Chapel. We'd love for you to share in the conversation.


Qur’an Study every Wednesday: 5:30-6:30pm in the Interfaith Prayer Space (Alumni Campus Center 580) at Loras College.


Questions or concerns? Just email us.

Q: What inspired this series of faith based conversations?
Dubuque’s Children of Abraham grew out of inter-religious friendships that were simply too rich not to share. John Eby (a Christian professor of History, Loras College), Alan Garfield (a Jewish professor of Digital Art and Design at the University of Dubuque), Adib Kassas (a Muslim psychiatrist at Mercy Hospital), Bonnie Sue Lewis (a Presbyterian Christian professor of Mission at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary), and John Waldmeir (a Catholic professor of Religion at Loras College) decided to organize interfaith conversations so as to broaden the dialogue and learn from others.
Our family album (some special events) from 2016-2018
Pictures from our 3-21-19 conversation at the Tri-States Islamic Center (the Dubuque Mosque). The Mosque was packed, with over 275 folks including our friends from the Dubuque Police Department. Presenters were Mrs. Tania Khan, Dr. Adib Kassas, Dr. Rami al-Tibi, Prof Alan Garfield, Rev Ed Moreano, Mr. Jody Dernin and Prof John Eby. This was a rather free-form discussion of Death and Dying plus a Memorial for the Christchurch, New Zealand Mosque Shootings on Friday, March 15, 2019.
Pictures from our 2-21-19 conversation at the University of Dubuque. Hadley Auditorium was packed with every seat taken and folks sitting on the steps. Presenters were Sr. Toni Harris (Sinsinawa), Prof. Taj Suleyman (Tri-State Islamic Center) and Prof Alan Garfield (Temple Beth El)h. Kate Scheinman was the emcee and led us on this illustrated discussion of how the Arts figure in Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Pictures from our 1-31-19 conversation in the Social Hall of St. Anthony's Church. It must have been -31 degrees F out and we considered, seriously considered, cancelling just for safety sake. We didn't. And Rev Charles Layton (St. Luke's Methodist Church), Dr. Tauseff Kahn (Tri-State Islamic Center) and Professor Alan Garfield (Temple Beth El) led us on a thought-provoking journey of 'forgiveness', our topic that night. Over 50 persons came and we stayed until 9:30pm. Some night.
Pictures from our 11-15-18 conversation in the Ballroom of the Student Center, Loras College. (I remember when it had dividers because we never had more than 30 or 40 show up. Tonight it was well over 150.) Presentations were from Ken Halstead (Lutheran), Tauseef Khan (Muslim from Tri-State Islamic Center), and Alan Garfield (Jewish from Temple Beth El). The topic: Evil.
Pictures from our 10-18-18 conversation at the Annex of the Multicultural Family Center. Presentations were from Ellie Landau (Temple Beth El), Adib Kassas (Tri-State ISlamic Center), Sr. Christin Tomy (Sinsinawa Sisters) and Julia Theisen (Yoga) The topic: Prayer, Body and Soul.
Pictures from our 9-27-18 conversation at Temple Beth El. This is always a favorite. We all pitch in to build the Sukkah, decorate it, share a meal in the Social Hall and then proceed upstairs to the Sanctuary for our conversation. The topic "Seeking Truth" was presented by Alan Garfield (Temple Beth El), Sam Giere (Wartburg Theological Seminary) and Adib Kassas (Tri-State Islamic Center). Loads of pics.
Pictures from our 04-26-18 conversation at Clarke University. This was our last of our 7th year. Hosted by Prof John Eby with Aref Khatib, Keyera Shaw, Alan Garfield, Taj Suleiman and Nathaniel Gee. Each gave a quote and told a story of the work of MLK Jr.
Pictures from our 3-22-18 event. Violent Passages from our Holy Texts. Hadley Auditorium, University of Dubuque with Dr. Tauseef Kahn, Rev. Lillian Daniel and Prof Alan Garfield. Over 100 persons with no empty seats in the Auditorium.
Pictures from our 2-22-18 event. Scripture Study: Book of Daniel, Chapter 7. Emmaus Bible College.
Pictures from our 10-12-17 Sukkot celebration, dinner and Jewish Scripture Study. 5pm - build the Sukkah; 6pm - Sukkot Service; 6:15 - Dinner; 7-8:15 Jewish Scripture Study. Ecclesiastes Chap 1/3: Kate Scheinman, Becca Gottlieb and Alan Garfield in the Jewish tradition, Rev. Stephanie Schlimm in a Christian tradition (Epworth United Methodist Church) and Dr. Tauseef Khan in the Muslim tradition. About 150 people food left. A great time.
A few pictures from our very successful first conversation of the year on 09-14-17 involving Alan Garfield (Jewish), Adib Kassas (Muslim), Fr. Dustin Lyon (Greek Orthodox) perspectives on the essences of their religions. In addition a bibliography of further reading was distributed. Not many pics; but a great time at Loras College.
Pictures from our 04-20-17 event at Wartburg Seminary. Hosted by Dean Craig Nessan, Adib Kassas led us in Scripture study of Surah 24 Alnur in the Quran. Ben Brown (Christian) and Alan Garfield (Jewish) led us in reactions to the Surah. Lively discussion.
Pictures from our 03-23-17 event at the University of Dubuque. Over 150 in Hadley Auditorium as John Eby, Bonnie Sue Lewis, Adib Kassas and Alan Garfield talked about the Impact of 6 years of Interfaith conversations. Definitely not a session to have missed.
Pictures from our 02-15-17 event at the new Mosque. We had an overflow crowd (over 100 surely) in the Social Hall. Conversation - Life Ethics.
Pictures from our 10-20-16 event. Festival Hospitality of Sukkot. Dinner. Conversation - Ecology and Faith. Temple Beth El.
Pictures from our 4-10-16 Festival of Hospitality, Pan-Orthodox Vespers, at Wartburg Seminary with Fr. Peter Andronache, Fr. Fred Shaheen, Fr. Germogen Tucker, Fr. Ignatius Valentine and Fr. Dustin Lyon.
Pictures from our 2-18-16 conversation, Coming of Age, at the Tri-State Islamic Center on Thursday evening. Thanks to our panelists Tauseef Khan, Sammy Eckrich and Phyllis Garfield.
Our Friends:

We are very thankful for the encouraging support (financial and enthusiastic) by the following institutions:

- Loras College

- University of Dubuque