The Festival of Faiths facilitates ongoing conversations among civic leaders of diverse religions

On September 8th, Cincinnati will welcome the Festival of Faiths, a celebration of interfaith understanding and collaboration for all ages.


Now in its second year, the Festival of Faiths is organized by the collaborative Bridges of Faith Trialogue, a nonpartisan civic organization that facilitates “an ongoing conversation among Cincinnati civic leaders of diverse faith traditions.”


Part education and community dialogue, part celebration, the festival will feature faith-based presentations, artists, service opportunities, activities, and community conversations for all ages. There will be representation from diverse religious groups from across the spectrum of faith traditions and beliefs.


The theme for this year’s event is “Compassion through Action: Becoming a Beloved Community,” in response to the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Attendees will be invited to engage in discussion around Dr. King’s vision, helping strengthen a shared vision for the “Beloved Community” of people of faith across the region.


Last year’s inaugural event was modeled after similar events in Louisville and Indianapolis. It drew close to 2,000 attendees. Co-organizer Sandy Kaltman (who is also co-chair of Interfaith Activities of the local American Jewish Committee) says that this year’s event will build on the success of last year, and that attendees can expect about 90 “diverse and entertaining activities for all ages.”


Family friendly activities will include a game of Gaga (Israeli dodgeball), Catholic rosary-making side by side with Islamic bead bracelets, and a Bespoken Live story-telling booth.


All ages will enjoy watching a Sikh martial art demonstration, participate in a collaborative interfaith mural project, visit a spiritual meditation room with guided devotions, and view a display of rare, sacred Abrahamic texts.


Attendees can browse a selection of religious-themed goods and services from vendors such as Bead of Life, the Association for India’s Development, BLOC Ministries, and Noor’s Glory.


The Festival of Faiths is sponsored by communities of faith across Greater Cincinnati as well as local businesses that Kaltman says “appreciate the civic and cultural benefits to our community from having and celebrating our religious diversity.”


Kaltman says that the Festival of Faiths will be a great experience for anyone interested in learning about other faiths and religious traditions in the Cincinnati region as the sponsors, activities, and vendors will highlight the diversity of religious expression across the Tri-state. The event will also appeal to those who care about interfaith relations or who want a unique spiritual experience.


Kaltman says that this sort of diverse religious event has never been more important.


“In this discouraging climate of disunity, blatant bigotry, and hate,” she says, “this is a much needed and welcomed gathering of people of good will who appreciate their shared humanity and spirituality.”


The Festival of Faiths will be on Sunday, September 8, 2019 from 12:30–5:00 p.m. at Xavier University’s Cintas Center. Tickets are free and can be reserved on the event website.

Read more articles by Liz McEwan.

Liz McEwan is a proud wife, mama, urbanite, musician and blogger. Follow her at The Walking Green and on twitter at @thewalkinggreen.
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