Why does interfaith work matter?


Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition
By: Aria Christenson, Summer Intern, IYLCIntern@interfaithaction.org

Current news is flooded with stories of religious intolerance and violence – around the globe and right here in the Twin Cities. What if religion became a unifier of diverse communities instead of a tool of division? What would this look like?

At the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches, our response comes in the form of the Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition (IYLC). This group provides an opportunity for students to learn from the traditions of their peers, build relationships, and gain leadership skills.

Of course, this work isn’t easy. IYLC equips youth with the tools to delve into difficult questions and tackle challenges. Beyond engaging in discussion, the youth participate in service projects that spark connections between religious traditions about their shared values of compassion, generosity and justice. Imagine the possibilities for social change when we act on these common values!

These thoughts serve as motivation in my role as intern this summer. I am thrilled to be working with the IYLC Coordinator at the Saint Paul Area Council of Churches, Fardosa Hassan. We are currently planning two big events for the coming year at IYLC.

The IYLC Leadership Retreat will be held the weekend of November 1-2, 2014 at Bay Lake Camp in Deerwood, Minnesota. The weekend will be full of relationship building, reflection and interfaith leadership activities.

The annual Interfaith Youth Day of Service will be held on February 16, 2015 (Presidents Day) at Foss Center on the Augsburg College campus. This daylong event brings Twin Cities youth together to engage in service and learn from one another. There will be morning workshops on interfaith issues and afternoon service projects hosted at various sites in the Twin Cities.

These events may be months away, but we are so excited about them that we are planning now! Have a group or individual in mind that would like to attend (or help plan) either of these events? Please contact us for more information. We would love to have you join us.

If you have any questions about Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition, please contact:

Fardosa Hassan
Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition Coordinator