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Congregation Beth Shalom

Jewish Community in Bozeman, Montana

Talking with Neighbors

An Interfaith Forum for People of Gallatin Valley

First Wednesdays , 11:30—12:30, Oct—May

Living in a multi- religious world, learning from one another

Funding for the interfaith forum comes in part from the generous contribution of Men of Reform Judaism.

Accommodating the rich religious diversity of Bozeman in a one-hour format is challenging. We are pleased that each month local religious leaders, as named in the topic descriptions, will be joining us. What do we have in common? How do we differ? How can we live in community with one another? In a world growing smaller, in a nation becoming more and more multi-religious, in a community becoming more diverse, it is important to understand our neighbors, their values and their traditions. The purposes of the Interfaith Forum are:

  1. To demonstrate visible respect for one another
  2. To emphasize our commonalities
  3. To celebrate and learn from our differences

Some welcoming details

  • Bring your lunch
    These forums take place from 11:30 am—12:30 pm so that working folks and others can “brown-bag” it. The forums will each last 1 hour.
    Please respect the Temple and do not bring pork or shellfish products.
  • Invite your friends
    Anyone is welcome to attend, listen and ask questions, from any faith tradition or no faith tradition.
  • Where is Temple Beth Shalom?
    2010 W. Koch St Bozeman, MT 59718 (behind Albertsons)
    From downtown Bozeman, take Main Street west to the 19th Avenue intersection. Turn left (south) onto 19th Avenue. Go two blocks south to West Koch Street. Turn right (west) on West Koch St and go one and one half blocks. The temple parking lot is on the left.
  • Where to park
    If the parking lot is full, please park on the street.
  • Questions?
    Call Temple Beth Shalom, 406-556-0528.

2013-2014 Topics

October 2

How do our varied religious traditions define, bless, and establish norms for marriage?

November 6
The Best & Worst of My Religious Tradition

Panelists will speak to the contributions of their own traditions to the world community.

December 4
Interfaith Prayer—Can we do it?

We enjoy interfaith dialogue, friendship, and partnership in service. Can we pray together?
Special guest: Florence Guest, Sufis

January 8 (not January 1)
Faith and the Earth’s Future

Spiritual and practical responses of our faith traditions to the Earth’s environmental crises
Special guest: Nina Grey, Unitarian Universalists

February 5
Cult? Or Religion?

What is the difference between a cult and a religion?
Special guest: Philip Zemke, Unity Church

March 5
Sin and Redemption

Is this a central concept for all religions? How do we understand sin and redemption?
Special guest: Joel Seifert, Lutheran (Wisconsin Synod)

April 2
The Death Penalty

What do our traditions teach regarding the use of the death penalty?

May 7
Why does God allow bad things to happen?

Known as “theodicy,” our traditions all address this basic human question.
Special guest: Susan Morgan, Buddhist

Panel Participants 2013—2014

  • Rabbi Ed Stafman has been rabbi at Congregation Beth Shalom since 2008. For many years a trial lawyer in Florida, he also holds a masters degree in religion and has completed the coursework for a PhD in Religion of Western Antiquity.
  • Dr. Ruhul Amin is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MSU. He is president of the Islamic Center of Bozeman and faculty advisor for the Muslim Student Association. He is a native of Bangladesh.
  • The Rev. Jody McDevitt has been co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church (PC (USA)) since 1997. Her theology degrees are from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. She was ordained in 1988.
  • The Rev. Leo Proxell has been pastor of Holy Rosary Catholic Church for 11 years. He was ordained in 1973 and has served parishes in western Montana. His 9 years of campus ministry at Carroll College included 3 years of teaching theology.
  • Invited guest panelists