The Tri-Faith Initiative


Tri-Faith On the Road

The Tri-Faith Initiative is going “on the road” for workshops on interfaith work in Nebraska communities throughout the state.  Panel members from Temple Israel, the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture and the new ecumenical Christian community on the Tri-Faith campus will discuss the plans for the campus at 132nd and Pacific in Omaha.

Clergy, lay leaders and religious educators will be gathering at the workshops to learn how they may be able to foster interfaith activities in their communities.  The Tri-Faith leaders will share resources for education programs and lead discussions on how to build relationships with people of other faiths and how to build programs for joint action on community projects.

The upcoming workshops are:

In Mitchell, August 17, 10:00-2:00 at Holy Apostles Church

Register Here

In Kearney, September 28, 10:00-2:00 at St. Luke’s Church

We had a great workshop in Lincoln in July, and additional workshops are in the planning stage for Norfolk and Omaha.

The workshops are co-sponsored by the Tri-Faith Initiative, the Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska and the ELCA Nebraska Synod with support from the Roanridge Trust.


Interfaith Amigos Coming to Omaha

Join us on March 6 at 7 p.m. at the UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center in Omaha for The Interfaith Amigos, a group from the Seattle area who bring a good dose of humor to the discussion of interfaith relationships among Jews, Christians and Muslims.

They will also be presenting in Lincoln on March 7.

The  event will feature The Interfaith Amigos. Rabbi Ted Falcon is known as a spiritual guide, author, therapist and teacher of Jewish meditation. Imam Jamal Rahman is a popular speaker on Islam, Sufi spirituality, and interfaith relations. Together they have spoken widely, exploring the frontiers of interfaith spirituality.

At this event they will be joined by Christian ministers from the Lincoln-Omaha area.

This gathering of the Abrahamic faiths is sponsored by Saint Paul Church, Westminster Church, Union College, the Niagara Foundation, ARYA, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska and south street Temple, Islamic Studies at UNO,  The Tri-Faith Initiative of Omaha, TASON and Fountain Magazine.Buy tickets at .

For a preview, check the Interfaith Amigos website.  There are videos of two TEDx talks they have given.

Seating is limited and the last time they performed in Nebraska, tickets sold out in less than a week.  Get yours today.

Save the Dates

Save these dates for upcoming programs, sponsored or co-sponsored by the Tri-Faith Initiative:

March 6, The Interfaith Amigos, UNO Strauss Performing Arts Center, 7 p.m. , co-sponsored by The Niagara Foundation, The Tri-Faith Initiative, The UNO Islamic Studies Program,TASON, Saint Paul Church, Westminster Church, Union College, ARYA, Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska and south street Temple, ,  Tri-Faith Omaha, TASON and Fountain Magazine. Tickets at

March 26 — Temple Israel has invited the Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries and the AIISC to bring 40 people to the annual community Seder at Temple.  If you are interested in participating, please contact the Episcopal Tri-Faith community or the AIISC as appropriate.

April 13, Bishop John Selby Spong will speak at Countryside Community Church on Eternal Life, A New Vision – Beyond Religion, Beyond Theism, Beyond Heaven & Hell.  For the past 40 years he has been a definitive voice for progressive Christianity, and has a deep commitment to interfaith work. For tickets, contact Countryside at or 402.391.0350 ext. 121.

Tri-Faith Named to Top Ten Stories of 2012

We are honored that NET named The Tri-Faith Initiative one of the Top Ten Stories of 2012.  If you did not have a chance to hear the broadcast or see the story on the web, click here:



Tri-Faith Named Top Ten Story of 2012

If Tri-Faith is one of your favorite projects of 2012, there is still time to cast your vote by making an on-line donation before the year ends.

Amy Jill Levine Visits Omaha November 13

The Provocation of Jesus’ Parables: Lessons for Jews, Christians, and Everyone Else

The Center for Faith Studies at Countryside Community Church is presenting a lecture and workshop by Amy Jill Levine. Understanding Jesus’ parables—e.g., “Pearl of Great Price,” “Prodigal Son,” “Good Samaritan”—requires understanding Jesus’ own Jewish context. How would the parables have been heard by Jesus’ original Jewish listeners, how does misunderstanding of that context lead to misreading of the parables and even to anti-Jewish views, and how might those original messages still speak to Jews, Christians and everyone else today? The irrepressible and ever-popular presenter and scholar Dr. Levine returns to Omaha to share perspective from her latest in-depth work on Jesus’ parables.

Throughout her career, Levine has worked tirelessly to build bridges of new insight and understanding among Jews, Christians and people of all faiths. A self-described “Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt,” Levine combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist, and homophobic theologies. Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt Divinity School and College of Arts and Science in Nashville, TN.

The Tri-Faith Initiative is co-sponsoring her appearance and a workshop for educators on Wednesday, Nov. 14.  For tickets to the lecture or workshop, call Countryside Community Church (402) 391-0350 ext. 121.


Mark Your Calendars–Lecture Series are Coming!


Ttri-faith Logo

Dr. Robert Putnam, of Harvard University will present, “American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us” on Oct. 2 at UNL as part of the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues. The lecture, which will explore Putnam’s book by the same title, focuses on the role of religion in American public life. Conveniently, if you don’t want to drive to Lincoln for Putnam’s presentation, The Center for Faith Studies and the Tri-Faith Initiative are co-sponsoring a simulcast which will be held at 7:15 at Countryside Community Church (8787 Pacific Street) in Omaha.  The lecture is free and open to the public.

There are several other lectures in the Thompson Forum series which may be of interest to members of our community.  Please click here to see the full series schedule.


The rest of the Center for Faith Studies’ Annual Lecture Series (including details on the Putnam simulcast lecture and discussion) can be found here.  (Please note, the Tri-Faith Initiative is also co-sponsoring Amy-Jill Livine’s presentations on November 13 and 14.  More info. on that presentation coming soon!)


Learning About “The Other”

The Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries is sponsoring a course on comparative religions each week on Sunday evenings at St. Augustine of Canterbury Church in Elkhorn taught by Gary Groff from the UNO Religion Department.  You can attend one or all sessions at no charge.

Each evening begins with an Episcopal worship service at 5 p.m., followed by a light dinner at 5:45 and the program starting at 6.  You are welcome to attend only the dinner and program if you choose. A free will offering is taken for dinner.

The Schedule:

Sept. 23rd – Judaism; modern history and role in the present

Sept. 30th – Christianity; 3 main branches; commonalities/differences

Oct. 7th – Christianity;  “modern” denominations (LDS, JW (This class will be led by Rev. Canon Tim Anderson.)

Oct. 14th – Islam; Abrahamic connection; Life of Muhammad (pbuh)

Oct. 21st -  No Worship or Program this evening.  Instead, we invite our community to join in celebrating the ordination of Dave Holmquist at 7 PM.

Oct. 28st – Islam; Qur’an; era of interfaith coexistence

Nov. 4th – Islam; role in the present

Nov. 11th – Hinduism; mono/poly theistic?;  Samsara (reincarnation)

Nov. 18th – Buddhism; Life of the Buddha; 4 Noble Truths; 3 Jewels

The programs started on Sept. 9 with an overview and Sept. 16 looked at the Jewish High Holidays.

People of all faiths are welcome to participate.


We Share the Sorrow of the Sikh Community

The Tri-faith Initiative of Omaha shares the sorrow of the Sikh community in Oak Creek, WI, and the Sikh communities in Omaha and across the world as they mourn the loss of life and begin the journey of recovery from injuries sustained in the tragedy last weekend. Our prayers are with the families and friends of the victims, and with all who work toward the goal of peacefully sharing our world.


Our vision is to build bridges of respect, trust and acceptance among faith groups, to challenge stereotypes of each other, to learn from one another, and to counter the influence of extremists and agents of hate.


We pray the time will come when we can celebrate both our differences and what we share in common, for our nation is unique in its diversity, and our diversity should be celebrated.


For those in Omaha who would like to learn more about the Sikh religion, the world’s fifth largest organized religion, please join the Episcopal Tri-Faith Community on Sunday, August 12.  Their worship service starts at 5 p.m., and a light supper will be served followed by the presentation by Gary Groff of the UNO faculty at 6 p.m.   There is no charge for the supper, although a free-will offering is taken. The program ends at 7 p.m. The group meets at St. Augustine of Canterbury Church,  285 South 208th Street, Elkhorn, NE.  Take Dodge to 204th St. exit.  At the end of the ramp, turn south to the next light.  Turn right one long block.  The church will be on your right.  Turn right again to the parking area.  The session will be held in the Fellowship Hall, the section of the building to the north end.


We’re Spreading the News

The Tri-Faith Initiative and the Episcopal Tri-Faith Foundation are sponsoring a booth at the triennial Episcopal General Convention being held in Indianapolis.  The theme for the booth is “Welcome to the Neighborhood”, inviting people from across the country and overseas, to become virtual neighbors with the communities who will be on the campus at Sterling Ridge.

Become a Neighbor






The booth features graphics of the buildings for Temple Israel, the Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries and the American Institute of Islamic Studies and Culture and a map of the Tri-Faith neighborhood.

General Convention Booth


The booth has a kiosk with two iPads where visitors can call up videos about Tri-Faith featuring members of the Tri-Faith communities and national leaders including Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.


Rev. Canon Tim Anderson who heads the Episcopal Tri-Faith Ministries and serves on the Tri-Faith Board of Directors, is leading the team in Indianapolis which includes intern Steven Duvoisin, Carla Anderson, Rev. John Schaefer, Jim Yeates, Brad Perry and other members of the Nebraska delegation who stop by to lend a hand including Bishop J. Scott Barker.


Tim says the booth has the most popular pin “I’m a Neighbor” featuring the heart motif above, and the best chocolate — mints from Baker’s Chocolate, a Nebraska tradition.