History, Philosophy, and Approach
In June of 1994, some 25 local religious leaders came together for a “meet and greet” gathering initiated by community organizer, Michail Curro, and Episcopal Priest, Rev. Harvey Guthrie. Many of those individuals were meeting each other for the first time. What emerged over the next few months was an interfaith dialogue model that focused on building bridges of understanding and friendship. Dialogue would become the means of both learning about each other and learning from each other.
In 1998, Rev. George Lambrides was hired as the Interfaith Round Table’s first Executive Director. The IRT grew by adding multiple programs for youth and adults, and about 35 congregations became actively involved. In 2011, Rev. Susan King became Co-Director, and she and George worked together for over eight years before retiring and turning over leadership of the IRT to a new Director.
Religion is often a point of misunderstanding and tension. Differences often outweigh our common interests and our vision for living together. The IRT seeks ways for each of us to be true to our own faith tradition while also respecting, honoring, and understanding our neighbors and their beliefs.
The IRT works to move beyond just tolerance (acceptance) of other religious and spiritual perspectives to a place where we desire to understand how other people view the world and where we genuinely value what others contribute to our lives and our community.