We're trying out a Film Series. Come join us.
A Statement of Solidarity: Identity Violence
Political Discourse and Civility by John Eby (Editorial in the TH 11-25-18)
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 Tuesday: 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 Film Festival.

In truth, there's only one film. But we thought we'd start it off and see if this is something we should try again. Come join us on Saturday, November 9 at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium at 2pm. It's free. Just come to the Main Building and we'll direct you to the auditorium. This is a Holocaust film that is uplifting, if that's possible.


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, so...it'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 (www.dacuonline.org), 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: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2015/2/24/people-who-are-seeking-peace
- 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.

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


See some of our past events. We do so many, we need a separate page to show them. Click here for some history.


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Join us for our conversations. We'd love to have you participate. Our next one:

Nov 14: Water: Springs of the Spirit? - Clarke University, Jansen Hall. H20 in Religion and Ecology.

(Conversation starts at 7pm.)

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Qur’an Study every Tuesday: 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.
Recent Events: Fall 2019:
Pictures from our 10-17-19 conversation at Temple Beth El. This was a combination build the Sukkah, service in the Sukkah, dinner in the social hall and conversation. About 90 came for the Sukkah and dinner; 147 were in the Sanctuary for the conversation. Wow. This was a festival of hospitality - CoA folks brought a dish to share in addition to the food prepared by Phyllis Garfield, Ellie Landau and Fern Reinstein. We're not used to seeing our little congregation so packed. Thank you presenters Tauseef Khan, Kerry Brown, Christina Edwards and Kate Scheinman. Topic: Food in your tradition. Participation from a Muslim, Christian/Protestant, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and Jewish perspective.


Pictures from our 9-19-19 conversation at Loras College. Presenters were Stacia McDermott, Adib Kassas and Alan Garfield. Topic: Heavenly Minded and Earthly Good - How does your faith inform your life? Stories from Catholic, Muslim and Jewish perspectives.


A few of our events from last year, Spring 2019:
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.
Our Friends:

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

- Loras College

- University of Dubuque