On Tuesday, May 20th leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were once again invited to participate in an Iftar Dinner at the invitation of the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation.
A few days later, leaders also participated in an Iftar Dinner at the Downtown Islamic Center at the invitation of Imam Muhammad Kolila.
Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam and Muslims fast in order to feel the pain of the poor. During Ramadan, a 30-day religious period, they fast from before sunrise to about sunset and it is not uncommon for Muslims to invite other faiths to join them in an iftar, or a meal to break the fast.
At the dinner on May 20th, President Scott gave an excellent message about fasting in our faith tradition that created unity as he spoke of our similarities with Islamic fasting.
Lisa Badal grew up in Westminster in a musical family. By age 8 she was playing both the piano and the violin. She played both instruments competitively throughout her childhood.
When she went to school at Brigham Young University he majored in Music Education with the violin as her main instrument.
To her shock, when she returned to Colorado about 7 years ago she discovered there were no orchestra programs in the 27J school district. She turned to her husband and said, “One day I will change that.”
Several years passed, and I started accompanying the choirs at Prairie View High School. Through my involvement with the school system, I learned that many teachers had tried to start orchestra programs, but when the middle school would start something, it would fizzle out because there were no orchestras in the high school, so why even bother? Then the high school tried to start something, but there was no feeder program in the middle school, so why bother? It became clear that we just had to start somewhere. Then 27J announced that we would be switching to a 4-day schedule and that students would have Monday off. I thought, “This is our opportunity. There will be a whole district full of kids with nothing to do on Mondays, and I can teach them to play string instruments.”
That effort led to this unique interview with the local CBS affiliate:
On Saturday, April 27, 2019, members of the Denver, Front Range and Arvada Stakes–joined by ten full-time missionaries–participated in a special Denver Days kick-off event at Inspiration Point Park.
Based on Mayor Michael Hancock’s vision of “a city where neighbors not only [know] their neighbors but as a result [feel] safer and more connected to the communities they call home,” The city created Denver Days, “a program….that encourages neighbors to get to know their neighbors by hosting block parties, picnics, and service projects with the focus on small, organic gatherings.”
Organized by Denver’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Office of Neighborhood Engagement, with further sponsorship support from Comcast Cable, Saturday’s event at Inspiration Point Park commenced with opening remarks from various City officials, including Mayor Hancock, as well as remarks from former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
On April 11, 2019, accompanied by his wife Marva, Elder Thomas T. Priday of the Seventy attended and was among various leaders recognized in opening remarks at the 2019 Annual Dialogue and Friendship Dinner hosted by Multicultural Mosaic Foundation and Abrahamic Initiative.
This special evening program, held at historic St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Denver, provided a wonderful opportunity for making and deepening relationships with interfaith friends in the community–including many members of the local Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities.
Among the many guests and interfaith leaders in attendance included The Reverend Jim Gonia, bishop of the Rocky Mountain Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (and his wife Kim, also an ordained ELCA pastor), Imam Muhammad Kolila of the Downtown Denver Islamic Center, Brother Ismael Akbulut (President) and Gulsum Katmer (Executive Director) of the Multicultural Mosaic Foundation, The Very Reverend Richard Lawson (Dean) of St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral, Osnat Fox (senior Israeli emissary) of Jewish Colorado and the Reverend Bonita Bock, member of the Metro Denver Faith Leaders Caucus and former director of Wartburg College West, and emcee of the dinner program.
On the afternoon and evening of January 15, 2019 representatives of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from Denver, Colorado met with the United Methodist Church’s Mountain Sky Conference cabinet at Church Headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The visit was a wonderful opportunity to share common beliefs and introduce our friends of the Methodist faith to the Bishop’s Storehouse, Temple Square, The Conference Center, The Relief Society Building, and The Joseph Smith Building.
The Mountain Sky Cabinet was meeting together in Salt Lake City and this presented a perfect opportunity for Latter-day Saint leaders to connect with them and share of our common faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Bishop Oliveto said of this meeting:
[I want to thank] you and your faith, that [we] would be welcomed, with outstretched arms, and I do trust that this is going to be the start of some ministries that we share together as we all open our arms to share the love of Christ in the world. So I just want to thank each of you. You have given so much generous hospitality, and it’s been such an inspiration. We look forward to returning the favor, and the gift.
We too are very grateful for these opportunities to build relationships with other believers in Christ and, thereby, to strengthen our community!
Join selected speakers and representatives from the Colorado community as we come together to discuss religious freedom.
For the second year running, religious leaders will convene at the Colorado State Capitol this April to unite faith communities and engage in the political sphere. Faith leaders and religious freedom experts will share perspectives on the state of religious rights in America today. All are welcome to attend.