Interfaith forum tonight

Community discussion to reflect on 'World in Conflict'

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If you go

What: Community, interfaith discussion with local religious leaders to discuss the topic of "World in Conflict: What can we do?"

Where: Steamboat Springs Community Center, on Lincoln Avenue west of downtown, next to Bud Werner Memorial Library

When: 6:30 p.m.

Call: Marchele McEntee at 846-8504

— Whether it is over coffee, around the dinner table, late at night or in some other thought-provoking setting, people have discussions every day about the state of the world.

Marchele McEntee and Tim McCarthy decided that such discussions should involve as many people as possible.

Tonight at Steamboat Springs Community Center is the third in a series of interfaith, community meetings that McEntee and McCarthy say are held "to talk about critical issues related to finding meaning in the world."

The first two meetings, held in January and May, questioned whether religion is inherently divisive and examined issues of peace. The meetings attracted crowds of more than 75 people, in addition to local religious leaders from the Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Methodist, Mormon and Baha'i faiths.

"A few years ago, we were talking with my brother and kind of looking at the division in the world, the wars and violence, and we thought: 'What can we do here locally?'" McEntee said Wednesday. "We decided to invite local religious leaders to get together and start having conversations."

McEntee works with Advocates Against Battering and Abuse. McCarthy is a Realtor and is starting a solar energy business. Outside of their day jobs, the two meet with local religious leaders once a month to plan the community meetings and talk.

Scheduled to attend tonight's forum are Tim Olmstead of the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs, Mathias Krier and Tim Selby of the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs, John Franklin of the Holy Name Catholic Church, Joseph Goldman of the Jewish Congregation of Steamboat Springs, Sandy Graves and Kerry Hart of the Baha'i faith, and Paul Stewart of the Jesus Christ Church of Latter Day Saints.

McEntee said the group has not yet been able to locate someone to represent the faith of Islam.

"It's a key component, especially right now, when we're talking about the world in conflict and Muslim-Christian relations," she said. "We haven't been able to find an organized Muslim community in town. In the future, we may look at other opportunities, such as bringing somebody up from Denver. We need someone who is able to represent the entire Muslim faith - we need to be able to say these are religious leaders."

McEntee said she and McCarthy hope to continue organizing the meetings on a quarterly basis.

"There has been a lot of energy so far," she said.

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