January 19, 2019

Intertwine Interfaith Initiative Announced

The Christian Services Commission is launching Intertwinean interfaith initiative to build positive relationships while learning more about other faith communities. In this time when divisiveness may seem like the norm, we strive to celebrate both our similarities and our differences with members of various faiths and backgrounds. 


With the help of Beth Damsgaard-Rodriguez of Interfaith Quest, we are launching the Intertwine initiative with three events this year. People of all faiths (or no faith) and all ages are encouraged to attend.


Sun. March 11 we held a field trip to the Saint Louis Science Center to learn about the CANstruction mural created by Interfaith youth and what each faith tradition shared in the process.

June 5: Iftaar at PUCC to break the Ramadan fast one evening with the Turkish American Society of MO (TASOM)


Fall: event focused on Jewish traditions, possibly Sukkot


The intent is to perpetuate these opportunities into the future, sharing planning and participation with various faith communities. Please enjoy these unique experiences as we create new friendships. 

Intertwine Interfaith Tu B’Shevat Jan 23

Intertwine Interfaith Tu B’Shevat

January 23 | Congregation Shaare Emeth | 11645 Ladue Road

Doors open at 6:45pm; program & dessert begin at 7:00pm

RSVP’s required at Bit.ly/2FYNT4w

Questions? Contact Lisa Mason: lmason624@sbcglobal.net, cell (217) 257-0525


Congregation Shaare Emeth, Parkway United Church of Christ, and TASOM invite you to celebrate an interfaith Tu B’Shevat. Tu B’Shevat is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the New Year of the Trees. The holiday celebrates the beauty and gifts we receive from trees. In modern times, themes around the environment and ecology have been included in the celebration. As an interfaith community, together we will experience what our Jewish, Christian and Muslim neighbors see in their own sacred texts about caring for nature and thus each other.


When you make your reservation, you will be asked to bring a fruit or vegetable-themed dessert to serve 6-8 people. We will share these desserts as part of the evening. There is no dinner.


Please also bring fresh fruits and vegetables that do not require refrigeration. We will donate these offerings to Project Downtown, an organization that dedicates each Saturday to feeding neighbors in need.


This program is partially underwritten by the Harvey and Leanne Schneider Interfaith Forum and is offered through Intertwine Interfaith Initiative, founded by PUCC, in cooperation with Interfaith Quest.

Interfaith Talks

Jesus Has Left the Building 8

Jesus Has Left the Building 8

Sunday, September 30, 2018 • 9:00-9:15 am Gather and Scatter! Communion and commissioning service at PUCC • Followed by projects to benefit the community


This JHLTB will embrace our Intertwine Interfaith Initiative – we are inviting our friends of other faiths to join us in sharing love and compassion with the St. Louis community. After the projects, we’ll all meet at Des Peres Park at 12:30 to share a picnic lunch. Please bring a cold dish to share – no pork please!


Projects on Sunday, September 30:

Cookie & treat bakingPUCC kitchen, 2841 N. Ballas Rd, Town & Country 63131 –limit 8 people

Join other bakers to whip up delicious cookies and treats in the Parkway UCC kitchen. Some of the recipes will be from our Turkish friends! These treats will be shared with a variety of groups to show our appreciation for serving the community.

Contact Linda Tossing (ltossing@aol.com) with questions.

Gardening at International Institute – South Farm 4040 Folsom Ave. 63110 – no limit



The International Institute’s Global Farms Program provides opportunities for Refugee and Immigrant arrivals to more effectively adjust to life in America. Our program offers new Americans coming from subsistence agricultural lifestyles places where they can immediately engage in their traditional practice of farming and gardening. Your help to improve and maintain these sites is much needed and greatly appreciated.


Work may entail weeding, mulching, tilling garden berms, working with compost and/or cleaning up the site. More experienced persons may be asked to mow, weed, trim or perform maintenance of structures. You will be using hand tools


Volunteers will be asked to sign a Volunteer Agreement and Release form. Please wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty (long sleeves & long pants suggested), closed-toe shoes, and bring water to drink.


Contact:  Paul Roesler at proesler@charter.net or (314) 629-8367 with questions.


Creative cards of support

at PUCC Heritage Room, 2841 N. Ballas Rd, Town & Country 63131 – no limit


Coloring and creating cards offers relaxation benefits for the senders, as well as the recipients! You can color, stamp, and paste to your heart’s delight. Supplies are provided. The lovely finished products will be mailed to individuals on the prayer lists of all participating groups or other people who might need a bit of cheer or encouragement.


Contact: Sue Moellering [susieqslp@sbcglobal.net or (314) 302-4373] for further details.

  Baitulmal, House of Goods

5911 Southwest, St. Louis 63139  – no limit



How it started: two Police Chaplains and members of the Islamic Foundation of Saint Louis got together and started a non-profit organization called Baitulmal, which translates to House Of Goods. This mission of the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis gathers thousands of donations for families in need. People from all over St. Louis volunteer and help sort, deliver and distribute donated items. Their passion is to help others and their hopes are to unite the community and inspire others to open their hearts and donate their time to help. 

How we can help:

  1. We will sort and organize goods in the warehouse.
  2. Bring clothing, furniture, household goods, or anything in between to donate to local refugee families or others in need, to PUCC on JHLTB morning.

Please contact Paige Penico with questions at (636) 346-5484.

  Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery clean up

7570 Olive Blvd, University City 63130 – no limit



Many people became familiar with the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery due to the heartbreaking anti-Semitic vandalism a couple years ago. We will be led by caretaker Woody to help with basic grounds maintenance including: cleaning up sweet gum balls, picking up sticks and debris, cleaning up the sidewalk along Hanley road, and sweeping sidewalks. Bathroom access is available on-site.


Contact Doug Yakel with questions at da_yakel@att.net.

  Soup kit assembly

Parkway UCC fellowship hall, 2841 N. Ballas Rd, Town & Country 63131 –limit 30 people


We will create dry soup kits, assembly-line style, using the recipe provided by the annual Jewish and Muslim Christmas Day of Service. Join us to scoop dry beans and seasonings and package for distribution. The soup kits will then be provided to the Harvey Kornblum Jewish Food Pantry and the ICNA Relief Halal Food Pantry.


Contact Donna Ruzicka with questions at DRuzicka@Polsinelli.com.

The Hindu Temple of St. Louis projects

725 Weidman Road, Ballwin 63011 – no limit



Project highlights include weeding, planting perennials, and spring bulbs, and indoor storage space organization at the Temple. Please wear gardening gear and bring your own gardening gloves and tools. Teens from the Temple will join us and serve as our guides, including a tour and sampling some Indian food.


Contact Lisa Mason [lmason624@sbcglobal.net or cell (217) 257-0525] with questions.



Please share photos of your project (extending PUCC’s Photo and Personal Privacy Policy* of respect and permission for all photo subjects) on social media with #JesusHasLeftTheBuilding #ParkwayUCC


These projects offer tangible ways to do God’s work in our community; don’t miss this fulfilling and fun day in the life of our church!


* Parkway United Church of Christ Photo and Personal Privacy Policy: Photos should generally not be taken of children in church except as part of organized activities and programs, and any requests of children or their parents or guardians should be respected. Please be respectful of privacy and that this is a safe and sacred space for all who enter.



Fall Interfaith Events in the St Louis Community


Everyone is invited to attend the Interfaith Dialogue meetings in the lower level conference room at Aquinas Institute of Theology, 23 South Spring, 63108, from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: September 4, 11, 18, 25; October 2, 9, 16. At these meetings a group of Jews, Christians, and Muslims study the Torah, the Psalms, the Gospels, and the Qur’an together.


The Eighth Annual Arts and Faith Interfaith Concert “Great Music of Many Faiths” will be on Sunday, September 16, at 5:30 p.m. at the Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd., 63108. The concert is free. Doors open at 4:30 p.m.


The program “Compassion, Wisdom, and Inner Peace” by Venerable Guo Jiann will be on Saturday, September 29, at 2 p.m. at the Pure Mind Buddhist Center, 7825 Olive Blvd., 63130.


Interfaith Partnership’s Annual Dinner will be held on Thursday, October 25, at 6 p.m. at the St. Charles Convention Center, 63303. This year’s dinner is being organized by the Muslim community. Tarek El-messidi will be the main speaker. Tickets are $85 per person; student tickets are $20. In order to register, go to interfaithstl.org. To be a sponsor, contact Rev. David Mehl at davidmehl@interfaithstl.org.


The next Parliament of the World’s Religions will be held from November 1 to 7 in Toronto, Canada. In order to register, go to parliamentofreligions.org. Many thousands of people from all over the world representing hundreds of different religious groups will be participating in this parliament.


This year’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Program will be in the evening of Tuesday, November 20. Location and time will be announced later.


Anyone who is interested in being part of an interfaith trip to parts of Israel and the Palestinian Territories for about 10 days around mid-June of 2019 should contact me. This possible trip will be organized by Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis.


David Oughton

Department of Theological Studies, Saint Louis University

Board Member of Interfaith Partnership