Memorandum of Understanding


VISION

In working together, our vision is to build bridges of respect, trust and acceptance, to challenge stereotypes of each other, to learn from one another, and to counter the influence of extremists and agents of hate.

Basic Concept

Each of the three initial participating faiths (“Participants”) desires to establish a new place of worship in West Omaha; having ‘found’ each other, we wish to pursue discussions about the possibility of co-locating our respective places of worship so as to create an interfaith commons.

Founding Principles

The need to be separate: Each participant’s religious building/space will be completely separate and controlled only by that group.
  • Each participant should be secure in the ownership or other arrangements for control over “their” land and building.
  • Each participant controls the ultimate design of their own building. To the extent that design issues can be coordinated among the buildings, we will attempt to do so.
  • Each participant has complete control over all aspects of its religious, governance and other internal affairs.
  • Each participant agrees to completely respect the beliefs and practices of the other participants.
  • All beliefs shall be respected.
  • To the extent practices take place outside the walls of one’s own religious space, consideration shall be given to the beliefs of other participants.
  • No participant shall engage in any proselytizing (intending to convert members of other participants).
  • Each participant shall be responsible for fundraising for its separate space and individual needs; collaboration, where appropriate, shall be offered.

Looking for Shared Space Opportunities

  • To the extent each participant can agree to do so, they will create ‘shared space’ that will allow for efficiencies of common operation and facilitate collaboration and interaction between and among the participants.
  • This is expected to include such basic things as parking and common outdoor areas. It is hoped to include such things as shared library space, food service, meeting rooms, auditorium, conference and banquet facilities and other common indoor areas.
  • Unfunded costs to build and operate shared space shall be fairly allocated among participants.

The Desire to Find Commonality

  • Participants shall foster among their members an environment of acceptance, respect and trust-building towards other participants and their members.
  • Participants agree to seek and create opportunities for communities, groups, families and individuals to gather, meet, interact and learn about and from one another.
  • Participants shall look for opportunities to understand differences and build on commonalities among participants.
  • A common “look and feel” shall be sought in the design of buildings on the commons.

Oversight and Governance of Common Areas

  • Participants will cooperate to discuss and establish rules governing the common/shared spaces.
  • This may be by direct establishment of an organization to do so, in which event each participant shall have equal voice.
  • It may be by delegation of such responsibilities to a third party organization, but only by consent of all participants.
  • Rules governing shared space and practices allowed therein will give maximum consideration to issues of respect for and tolerance of the beliefs of all participants.
  • When conflicts arise, participants agree to engage in open discussions, with sensitivity to all other participants, to work in good faith and exercise their best efforts to amicably resolve such conflicts.
  • Additional participants may be welcomed upon (unanimous) agreement of each of the participants.
  • Clergy of Participants shall be encouraged to meet and agree upon additional and more specific rules and guidelines for use of such common space.
  Download the Memorandum of Understanding here.