- Thursday, January 31, 2008, 6:30 p.m.
- Olympian Hall, Howelsen Hill, Steamboat Springs
Steamboat Springs Respectful religious dialogue may not be common in a world strewn with religious divisions and war, but tonight's "Exploring the Sacred" discussion of salvation aims to continue Steamboat Springs' courteous exchange of ideas.
"We bring religious leaders of various faiths together because they are the moral compasses for our community," said Marchele McCarthy, who hosts the periodic discussions with her husband, Tim McCarthy. "They may disagree on the issues, but it's a respectful dialogue, and if you can't do this on the local level, then there is no hope."
Representatives from the Buddhist, Baptist, Methodist, Jewish, Mormon, Baha'i and Catholic faiths meet tonight in Olympian Hall at Howelsen Lodge to express their religion's doctrine on what is salvation. The event begins at 6:30 p.m.
"I think the whole purpose of getting together, from my perspective, was to do something of value for the community," said Bishop Paul Stewart, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. "I hope people come away with - with this particular topic - a way to find meaning and value from their lives. My motivation is that they'll come away with some ideas on how to do that."
Tim Olmsted, of the Buddhist Center of Steamboat, said the value of having interfaith, religious dialogue for the public is that it keeps the conversation about faith alive in the community.
"We have tried to pick topics where we are not going to be all in lockstep. That would be boring," he said. "We have found on any given topic, there is as much difference between me and Christian members, as between one Christian to another Christian. Things don't always line up in traditional ways and that is very interesting."
Marchele McCarthy said tonight's "Exploring the Sacred" event, the seventh such discussion in four years, encourages audience participation.
"There is always a strong turnout that shows that this is something that the community is yearning for," she said.
Stewart said the interaction between religious leaders and the audience is his favorite part of the discussion, and he encourages all of those who are looking for some purpose in life to attend.
"I'm a results-oriented individual, and I'd like to see change happen as well," he said. "This isn't just about entertaining, but promoting valuable change in a rational discussion : Ultimately, as religious leaders, we hope they feel something, and not just hear something."