City of Reno has proclaimed August 29, 2012 as “Faith Forum Day” after a highly popular one-of-a-kind weekly column “Faith Forum” of Reno Gazette-Journal (RGJ), which has completed 83 weeks without any gap.
Religious statesman Rajan Zed leads a panel of distinguished leaders of various religions and denominations of the area to produce this weekly dialogue on religion, involving important religious issues affecting the area-country-world. A book is being planned based on this Forum.
Reno Vice Mayor David Aiazzi read and presented the Mayor Robert A. Cashell signed proclamation carrying City Seal to Rajan Zed and other Faith Forum panelists in the Reno City Council meeting on August 29, congratulating panelists and RGJ Publisher John Maher and Executive Editor Beryl Love. Maher also received the proclamation and spoke on the occasion.
Faith Forum panelists currently include: Brother Matthew Cunningham, Chancellor of Roman Catholic Diocese of Reno (RCDR); Dr. Stephen Bond, Senior Pastor of Summit Christian Church in Sparks; Nicholas F. Frey, Area Public Affairs Director of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS); Dr. Sherif A. Elfass, President of Northern Nevada Muslim Community; Reverend Jikai’ Phil Bryan, Priest & Meditation Guide of Reno Buddhist Center; ElizaBeth W. Beyer, Rabbi of Temple Beth Or; Dr. Bradley S. Corbin, Baha’i Teacher; and Father Stephen Karcher, Priest of St. Anthony Greek Orthodox Church. Dr. William Tell Gifford, Religion Professor of Truckee Meadows Community College; Dr. Thomas Butler, Pastor of Sparks United Methodist Church; R. Bruce Brinkerhoff of LDS; Sharla S. Hales, Assistant Area Public Affairs Director of LDS; and Monique Jacobs, Director of Faith Formation of RCDR; have also participated in it.
City of Sparks, lead by Mayor Geno R. Martini, also issued a Commendation certificate in March last to Faith Forum “for creating this constructive dialog which has helped to foster mutual understanding, trust, and loyalty in the community”.
Beryl Love says that this Forum is a model on how to engage the community on a subject matter that touches their daily lives and hearts. It will continue, he adds.
Rajan Zed, who has been bestowed with “World Interfaith Leader Award”, points out: Religion is complex. Religion is powerful. Religion is much more than our own particular tradition. There are interconnections and interdependencies between religions and there are differences. If we dig deeper, we shall find that we have more in common than in conflict. Faith Forum attempts to create harmony in the community.