Sacred Threads: The Complex Tapestry of Interfaith Relations

In Charlotte, Diversity, Education, Faith, Home, Queens University, Special Event by Donna TarneyLeave a Comment

Join us on Sunday, September 11, 2022 from 1:00 – 7:00pm for a half-day conference of refelctions and conversation about the changing nature of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian interfaith work since 1965

Join people from diverse religious traditions for a regional interfaith conference entitled “Sacred Threads: The Complex Tapestry of Interfaith Relations.” We will explore the remarkable content of Nostra Aetate — the 1965 watershed document issued by Vatican II that set into motion introspection, reconciliation, and interfaith dialogue.

Through the groundbreaking declaration Nostra Aetate, the Catholic Church began its long journey toward meaningful interfaith dialogue. For the first time, the Church stated its intent to revere “the work of G-d in all major faith traditions.” An outcome of Vatican II, it focused, in part, on the fraught relationships between Catholics and Jews. It was informed by the Holocaust and committed the Church to end antisemitic and anti-Jewish practices. While this document set the course for interfaith healing, continuing antisemitic sentiment makes painfully clear this ancient hatred is alive, well, and a threat.

Nostra Aetate additionally addresses the Church’s relationship to Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism.  Our Sacred Threads Conference features Catholic, Jewish, and Muslim scholars who are building on the work of Nostra Aetate. The program will empower people of faith, from all faiths, to reflect on the steps we must take to counter antisemitism and Islamaphobia and advance interfaith understanding.

The conference also includes music, poetry, art, spirituality, and small group discussions and dialogue. We will end our program with an original musical composition based on Nostra Aetate by Beth Schafer, Jewish musician and composer, and Fr. Ricky Manalo, CSP, Christian musician, composer and educator – a composition many years in the making.  We will end the conference celebrating our fellowship with a wine and cheese reception that will start at 7:00 pm.

Partners in planning the conference include Belmont Abbey College, the Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University, MeckMIN, and Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte. The conference is additionally sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, First United Methodist Church of Gastonia, Paulist Fathers, Temple Beth El of Charlotte, Temple Emanuel of Gastonia, Temple Sinai of Atlanta, Janet and Mark Epstein, Lynda and William Gross, Richard Osborne, and Marshall Rauch.

Registration now open: Click Here

Registration closes: Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Location: Queens University of Charlotte and Myers Park Baptist Church

Virtual Option: Participants can attend virtually (through Zoom)

For more information, email

Overview of Program:

12:30-1:00 pm, Arrival and Check-In
Belk Chapel Rotunda, Queens University

1:00 pm, Welcome
Belk Chapel, Queens University
Rabbi Judy Schindler, Sklut Professor of Jewish Studies, Queens University
Reverend Dr. Ben Boswell, Senior Minister, Myers Park Baptist Church

1:05-1:35 pm, Opening Program, “Our Sacred Encounter” Prayer, Music, and Testimonies
Belk Chapel, Queens University

  • Rev. Ricky Manalo, CSP, Ph.D., Catholic Composer and Theologian
  • Beth Schafer, Jewish Composer & Performer
  • Rabbi Judy Schindler
  • Muslim Prayer Leader

1:35-2:00 pm, Small Group Discussions, Encountering Each Other
Belk Chapel, Queens University

Donna Tarney, M.R.E, Education and Outreach Specialist, Stan Greenspon Center, Queens University

2:00-4:00 pm, Coffee Set Up Available
Main Lobby, Heaton Hall, Myers Park Baptist Church

2:15-3:30 pm, Nostra Aetate Panel Discussion
Heaton Hall, Myers Park Baptist Church

  • Dr. Adrian Bird, Affiliate Assistant Professor of Church History Union Presbyterian Seminary, Charlotte NC
  • Dr. Hadia Mubarak, Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Religion, Queens University of Charlotte
  • Dr. Malka Z. Simkovich, Crown-Ryan Chair of Jewish Studies and Director of the Catholic-Jewish Studies Program at Catholic Theological Union, Chicago IL
  • Dr. Matthew Tapie, Assistant Professor of Theology  and Director of Center for Catholic-Jewish Studies, St. Leo’s University, St. Leo FL
  • Moderator: Dr. Allesandro Rovati, Belmont Abbey College

3:30-4:00 pm – Coffee Break with Social Connections and Reflections
Main Lobby, Myers Park Baptist Church

4:00-4:30 pm, Small Group Discussions – Encountering Nostra Aetate
Heaton Hall, Myers Park Baptist Church

Donna Tarney, M.R.E.

4:30-5:30 pm, Keynote Address
Heaton Hall, Myers Park Baptist Church

Dr. Peter Ochs, Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia, Charlottesville VA

“Reasoning with the Logos, In this World, In the Light of Nostra Aetate” (Virtual presentation)

5:30 – Gratitude

  • Rabbi Judy Schindler
  • Reverend LeDayne McLeese Polaski, next steps

5:35-5:50 pm, Closing Prayer
Heaton Hall, Myers Park Baptist Church

  • Rev. Ricky Manalo, CSP, Ph.D., Catholic Composer and Theologian
  • Beth Schafer, Jewish Composer & Performer
  • Donna Tarney, M.R.E.
  • Reverend Richard Boyce
  • Dr. Alessandro Rovati, Chair and Assistant Professor, Theology
  • Jewish Prayer Leader
  • Muslim Prayer Leader

6:00-7:00 pm, Closing Reception (with appetizers, refreshments & wine)
Belk Chapel, Queens University

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