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Building Bridges
Between our
Religious Communities.

RESPECT...
UNDERSTANDING...
TOLERANCE.

Chicagoland, IL

If Your Church, Mosque or Synagogue Believes in Interfaith Dialogue, consider Joining SWIFT!

If you agree with the SWIFT Mission Statement and would like to find out more about your Place of Worship becoming a member, please contact us on our Join Us page.

The mission of SWIFT is to promote dialogue among the Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious communities and to work together on common community projects. The hope is that the efforts of SWIFT will promote mutual respect and will build understanding among these religious communities.

Membership of SWIFT is made up of Christian churches, Jewish synagogues and Muslim mosques. SWIFT is made up of groups centered around but not restricted to the South-West suburbs of Chicago, IL.

It is not the goal of SWIFT to convert any group to the beliefs of another. Also, SWIFT does not take stands on political issues.

SWIFT provides a forum for the Christian, Muslim and Jewish people in the area to educate, interact with and learn from each other. May God bless this endeavor and give it much success.





 

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SWIFT has engaged in an ongoing series of forums at which a topic is explored from Jewish, Christian and Muslim perspectives. A number of dinners for those from the member houses of worship have allowed Muslims, Christians and Jews to interact and become better acquainted as they discuss a theme such as “How our family celebrates our holidays” and “How are our religions organized.” SWIFT has also organized a number of workdays including several at a local Habitat for Humanity building site and several trips to volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository. These teams have been inter-faith and have been another opportunity for individuals to build relationships.

Visit our Events page to discover more about SWIFT's ongoing activities.












The origins of the SWIFT organization go back to some initial interaction between the Tinley Park United Methodist Church (TPUMC) and the American Islamic Association (AIA) of Frankfort. In November of 2002, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, the AIA Sunday School held a Food Drive and collected a large amount of donated items. These items were dropped off at the Tinley Park Food Pantry which was hosted by the TPUMC.

The Pastor of TPUMC at the time, Rev Jim Young, visited the AIA to thank the Muslim community for their donations. After some more conversations, he met with the AIA Board of Trustees in March of 2003. In that meeting, the AIA expressed its desire to reach out to the surrounding community and specifically the Christian and Jewish places of worship. The AIA members wanted to contribute more actively and collectively to the well-being of the communities in which they are living. For their part, Rev Young informed AIA that some of the pastors in the Tinley Park Ministerial Association were extending their hand of friendship and support to the Muslim communities of the area, making sure that in the aftermath of the terrorist acts of September 11th 2001, the area Muslims were not being denied their right to freedom of worship, nor were they being harassed in any manner. This coming together of the wishes of both sides was the beginnings of SWIFT.

The first SWIFT meeting was held at TPUMC in June of 2003 and was attended by AIA, TPUMC, St. Stephen Catholic Church and Faith United Presbyterian Church of Tinley Park representatives. At that meeting, the name of the new organization and its Mission Statement were discussed. From that time onwards, more congregations from the south/south-west suburbs of Chicago have come aboard and have become enthusiastic partners of the SOUTH WEST INTERFAITH TEAM, thus upon application and acceptance by the State of Illinois, SWIFT was Incorporated and Registered as a non-profit organization in July of 2004.

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Click on the links on the right to visit the website of one of our Member Congregations.

·         American Islamic Association, Frankfort

·         B'nai Yehuda Beth Sholom, Homewood

·         Faith United Methodist Church, Orland Park

·         Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart, Frankfort

·         Prayer Center of Orland Park

·         Peace Memorial United Church of Christ, Palos Park

·         St. Andrews United Methodist Church, Homewood

·         St. Michael Catholic Church, Orland Park

·         St.Paul Community Church, Homewood

·         St. Peters United Church of Christ, Frankfort

·         Temple Anshe Sholom, Olympia Fields

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SWIFT 2013

SWIFT Speakers Forum

How Do Our Holy Books View those of Other Faiths?

Jewish Muslim & Christian Perspectives

Jewish Speaker – Rabbi Michael Balinsky, Executive Vice President of Chicago Board of Rabbis

Christian Speaker – Dr. Joan Gorski, Professor of Religious Studies

Muslim Speaker – Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director of CAIR-Chicago

TIME:

Registration 2:30pm

Program 3:00pm – 5:30pm

Sunday March 10th

LOCATION:

Franciscan Sisters of the Sacred Heart

St Francis Woods Auditorium

9201 W. St Francis Rd, Frankfort, IL

Note: Please drive towards back of Main Building to Chapel Area

Help the Needy in our Area

SWIFT will be collecting Canned Foods to donate to a local Food Pantry at the event. Please bring in a bag or two of non- perishable food items when you arrive, to help our neighbors in their time of need.

SWIFT thanks you for your generosity!

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – NO TICKETS REQUIRED – SIGN-IN REQUIRED AT DOOR

A LEARNING EXPERIENCE YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS!

Three presentations about what each religion teaches its followers about how they should view the followers of the other faiths.

Presentations followed by Question & Answer sessiona

Our YouTube Channel is here (videos of past events):


      Video #2




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Click images below to view related information on our Blog
Member Dinners
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      Speaker Forums

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      Service Projects

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      Action

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Hall of Fame:
2008 - Rena Fulka: for her journalistic work to further interfaith understanding and to promote understanding of local religious communities.

2009 - Donna Petersen: an elementary school teacher, Petersen was concerned about Muslim students fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. She organized activities so that students didn't have to sit in the lunchroom while classmates ate and didn't have to face teasing or criticism for practising their faith.

2010 - Rev. Jim Young: Rev. Young is a retired United Methodist pastor who was instrumental in the founding of SWIFT and its early growth. Young helped recruit several houses of worship who became members of SWIFT.
One of the main goals of SWIFT is to provide a forum where people of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths can come together, learn from each other and develop a relationship based on respect, dignity and understanding. Another goal of ours is to work together on community service projects, in order to make our neighborhoods, our nation and our world a better place in which to live.

Along these same lines, SWIFT wants to recognize people who have made a positive difference in the communities they live and work in. SWIFT will be presenting this award – an award that we are calling the SWIFT Faith in Humanity Award – to those who we determine fall into either one of following two categories.

One category is those people who have advanced the cause of interfaith understanding, harmony and dialogue. The other category is those who have done something heroic or humanitarian – some kind of a selfless act - for the welfare of some-one else! So our award recipients can fall into either one of these categories, not necessarily both.

And of course, in keeping with SWIFT policy and rules, the award will not be politics-based. We will leave that up to other worthy organizations.

In presenting this award, we wish to make a statement to those living around us, that no matter what faith you belong to, an act of goodness and caring will be recognized, appreciated and promoted so that others can know about them and so that others can feel the joy in their hearts, just as we members of SWIFT do, when we see something positive and inspiring in others. And hopefully be inspired to do the same.

After all, we are calling it “Faith in Humanity” because, in this chaotic world and these chaotic times that we are living in, promoting interfaith dialogue and harmony, and also promoting an act of humanitarianism by some-one, restores our faith in humanity, reminding us what the human kind can aspire to do and is capable of doing… and also reminding us of what God has commanded all of us to do, which is to leave the world in a better condition than we found it in!
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