Download our 2016-2017 poster as a pdf.  11 x 8.5"     17 x 11"

A Statement of Solidarity: Identity Violence

We've had 5 great years of conversations and activity, thanks to all our friends in the Dubuque area. Keep our interfaith dialogue active; be part of the conversation.
Children of Abraham Conversations: (Thursdays at 7pm)

Sept 15: Religion and Politics - Loras College, Alumni Center Ballroom

Oct 20: Ecology and Faith – Temple Beth El, 475 W Locust

Nov 17: Scripture Study (Torah) - Steeple Square, 1584 White Street

Jan 26: Scripture Study (Christian Bible) – Westminster Presbyterian Church

Feb 16: Life Ethic (Abortion, Capital Punishment ...) – Tri-State Islamic Center

Mar 23: The Impact of Interfaith – University of Dubuque, Hadley Aud

Apr 20: Scripture Study (Qur’an) – Wartburg Seminary, 333 Wartburg


Children of Abraham Activities & Hospitality Festivals:

In addition to our Ecology and Faith conversation at Temple Beth El on October 20 at 7pm, we will host the popular annual Sukkot harvest celebration (with food) starting at 6pm. Come hungry.


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. Once again, a great reflection on our community.

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):

- March 31, 2016. Special Event: Mo Amer Comedy Show

On Thursday, March 31, Loras College, Alumni Campus Center, at 7pm we invited our second comedian and we got the same fellow. Once again an amazing show.
- February 20, 2016. RIVERCROSSING Storytelling and Interfaith Conference at Loras College, sponsored by IFYC, Clarke University, Loras College and the University of Dubuque.

- September 27, 2015: March and Rally Against Gun Violence 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 march and rally.
- Loras College students/staff/faculty left Loras with posters at 2pm to march up Loras Boulevard to University Ave (outside of Blades Chapel). Contact person was John Eby.
- Clarke University students/staff/faculty left Clarke with posters at 2pm to meet on University Ave (outside of Blades Chapel). Contact person was Donnie Wood.
- University of Dubuque students/staff/faculty met in Blades courtyard to make posters and line the walk outside of Blades Chapel. Contact person was Alan Garfield.
- Wartburg Seminary students/staff/faculty left Wartburg with posters at 2pm to meet on University Ave (outside of Blades Chapel). Contact person was Craig Nessan.

The program: 3-4pm various speakers including Dr. David Cochran and Dr. Jeremy Brigham. Time for conversation and action items were during refreshments at 4pm. KWWL had video on Sunday's news and the TH ran an article on the Against Gun Violence Rally on its front page on Monday, September 28, 2015.

- September 29, 2015: Festival Hospitality at Temple Beth El:
Our interfaith family was invited to share in the observance and joy of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot on Tuesday, September 29, from 5pm, at Temple Beth El, 475 W Locust Street in Dubuque. Sukkot is a 7-day festival, beginning on the 15th day of Tishri, which in the modern calendar is always the 5th day after the most solemn of Jewish holy days, Yom Kippur. By contrast, then, Sukkot is unreservedly joyful. We celebrated it by (1) building/decorating the Sukkah (a temporary little wooden booth outside the Temple) and (2) eating together after Sukkot prayers were said.
The Sukkah is a temporary structure built during the Jewish festival of Sukkot to commemorate the 40 years that Jews spent wandering the desert (Biblical times). It is a symbolic wilderness shelter, symbolizing both the frailty and transience of life and God’s presence always in our lives. Most of us live in houses or apartments built by others. Most of us eat bread baked by professionals. Sukkah-building gives us the chance to enjoy the fruits of our own labor, decorated with harvest-time crops. It shouldn’t be an elegant structure (don’t worry, it won’t be); it should be a rough shack built by many hands.
This was a joyous joint activity. Children of Abraham friends joined with Temple Beth El members to built this temporary structure and then decorate it. We had flowers, branches, corn stalks, fruits, and vegetables – all sorts of Fall Harvest symbols to decorate the Sukkah. The temporary nature of the structure is part of the tradition; it is important to have walls but also to see the sky thru the roof.
The food, prepared principally by Phyllis Garfield and Fern Reinstein, fed the 75 or so participants. This was a time for laughing, praying, sharing and thanking.
- October 24, 2015: 10th of Muharram festival at the Tri-State Islamic Center:
The event is October 24: 10th of Muharram festival at the Tri-State Islamic Center (805 Century Drive, in back of the JFK Mall, next to Happy Joe’s). This will be a vegetarian potluck to help our Muslim friends celebrate the end of their fast. We should plan to bring food, set up at 5:45pm, and then eating/prayers will start a bit after 6pm.
- This list will be updated frequently with more Festival Hospitality and Service Activities:
More information will be posted as we confirm our events, so please check back. In the meantime, don't forget our monthy Conversations on Thursdays at 7pm. See above.
Recent Past Highlights.
- 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...2014-2015
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

We've had another fabulous year of C of A. Thank you all.


Come back in September for more, please. Meanwhile, email us if you have suggestions for conversations or scripture study for next year.

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 Computer Graphics 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 2015-2017
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.
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.
Our Friends:

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

- Loras College

- University of Dubuque