News‎ > ‎

Update Newsletter -- April 2013

posted Apr 28, 2013, 12:22 PM by Interfaith WS

Interfaith Book Groups to Be Organized

With help of a grant from the Winston-Salem Foundation, Interfaith Winston-Salem will organize several interfaith book groups this summer.  The goal is to have five groups with up to 12 participants each, representing at least three faith traditions.


The Winston-Salem Foundation grant was provided through funds from the D. Elwood Clinard Charitable Trust.  Funds will be used to purchase the first book to be read by the groups, “12 Steps to a Compassionate Life” by Karen Armstrong.  This book will be offered free to club participants.  The second reading will be the book featured in the Forsyth Public Library’s “on the same page” program in September-October, which will have a focus on homelessness.  It  will be available through the library.  Participants will be invited to study and share what their faith traditions say about homelessness and how they should respond to people who are homeless. We hope to involve individuals who currently or formerly were homeless.


If you are interested in receiving more information or participating in the groups, please email your name, address, phone number and faith affiliation (if any) to Jerry McLeese at


Work Continues on Compassionate Winston-Salem

Leaders of Interfaith Winston-Salem are working with City Council member Dan Besse to determine the most appropriate way to present a concept for Compassionate Winston-Salem to the council.  The local effort stems from an international movement to bring compassion to the core of all relationships.  Fourteen cities across the globe have adopted the Charter for Compassion, including Louisville, Seattle, Houston and Cincinnati.  The movement in Winston-Salem has already attracted more than 20 partner organizations and over 200 individuals who support the charter.


“We believe the time is right for Winston-Salem to come together around the idea that has been at the center of healthy communities since the beginning of civilization,” said Jerry McLeese, chairperson of the board of Interfaith Winston-Salem.  “When we show compassion to others and to the world around us we elevate ourselves and everyone and everything that surrounds us.  We hope a growing number of people in Winston-Salem will join us in building a Compassionate Winston-Salem.”


Naijla Faizi to Join IF-WS as a Summer Intern

Naijla Faizi, a junior at Wake Forest University, will work with Interfaith Winston-Salem as an intern this summer, handling a variety of projects.  Ms. Faizi, whose home is in High Point, is majoring in Religion with a concentration in Religion and Public Engagement and a minor in Middle East/South Asia Studies.  Her participation is through the Summer Nonprofit Immersion Program sponsored by the Institute for Public Engagement at Wake Forest University. 


“Journeys” Breakfast Program: First Sundays

Interfaith Winston-Salem‘s “Journeys” breakfast group meets the first Sunday in each month to hear the story of someone’s faith journey.  Gatherings are held in a downstairs night club at the Community Arts Café in downtown Winston-Salem at 8-9:30 a.m.   On Sunday, May 5, Andrea Parker, a member of the Interfaith Winston-Salem board, will talk about growing up as a pagan in the Bible Belt.  Contact Michael Lange at  if you’re interested in attending the May 5 breakfast or being added to the mailing list for future meetings.


“Interfaith Contemplatives” Meets on Third Tuesdays

Andrea Parker facilitates these sessions, which include individuals from several traditions.  Typically, participants meditate or contemplate for 20 to 30 minutes before a time of discussion and reflection.  If you’re interested in the group, contact Drea at  Meetings are held at the Shepherd’s Center, 1700 Ebert Rd. in Winston-Salem.


March-April Programs Attract Diverse Audiences

In addition to the monthly “Journeys” and “Interfaith Contemplatives” meetings, Interfaith Winston-Salem programs in March and April attracted diverse audiences in diverse venues.


More than 70 people participated in the sixth annual Interfaith Youth Tour, co-sponsored by Interfaith Winston-Salem and the city’s Human Relations Commission.  The tour was hosted by Father Thomas Guerry at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Rev. Russ May at Trinity Moravian Church and Anthony’s Plot and Imam Khalid Griggs at the Community Mosque.  The tour was featured in an article in the Winston-Salem Journal on Monday, April 15


Approximately 40 individuals took part in a workshop led by Dr. Peter Lichstein on “An Introduction to Buddhist Meditation in the Zen Tradition” March 28 at the Shepherd’s Center.  For most of the attendees it was the first experience in meditation. Dr. Lichstein shared thoughts about meditation and led the group in seated and walking meditation.


St. Paul’s Episcopal Church hosted a presentation on “Christianity and Indian Culture” by a group from Wake Forest University led by Dr. Michelle Voss Roberts of the School of Divinity.  The group, which included students, faculty and others, had visited India for three weeks at the end of 2012 and shared their experiences.


Calendars of Activities, Religious Holidays

If you have interfaith events that are open to the public, Interfaith Winston-Salem can help promote them on its website and Facebook pages.  You can access the calendar at .  Submit items for consideration to Jerry McLeese at  Be sure to provide complete information, including the name and email address of a contact person. Our website also has a calendar of religious holidays from many faith traditions at .


“Founding Friends” Continues to Grow

The list of Interfaith Winston-Salem’s “Founding Friends” continues to grow with more than 50 individuals and organizations providing financial or in-kind support.  All individuals and organizations that provide assistance before the end of 2013 will be recognized as “Founding Friends.”  You can join the friends by sending your tax-deductible contribution to Interfaith Winston-Salem, 1959 N. Peace Haven Rd. #256, Winston-Salem, NC 27106.

Interfaith Sustainer ($1,000 plus)

Sybil and Jerry McLeese


Interfaith Partner ($250-999)

Mr. and Mrs. Philip S. Auchincloss

Mr. and Mrs. L.M. (Bud) Baker

Mr. and Mrs. Art Bloom

James A. Collins

The Rev. Darby Everhard

Knollwood Baptist Church

Mrs. Sarah Penry

Mr. and Mrs. Lee Strange


Interfaith Friend (Up to $250)

Anonymous (2)

Ms. Laura Barclay

Mr. Lynn Brown

Richard Cassidy

Centenary United Methodist Church

Mr. Dalia Shirley Deane

Ms. Lynn W. Dixson

Ronald G. Dyer

Mr. Sharee Fowler

Debbie and Keith Gough

Mr. and Mrs. David Harold

Dr. Peter Lichstein

Kirk McNeill

Ms. Marjorie Northup

Andrea Parker

Mr. Rollin Russell

Dr. Robert P. Schwartz

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Ms. Mary Ben Stroupe

Ms. Brenda Tuttle

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

        Of Winston-Salem

Wake Forest University

        Chaplain’s Office

Charles F. Wilson

Ron Yost

Cheryl and John Young


In Honor Of

Jerry McLeese

Sybil and Jerry McLeese

Andrea Parker (2)


Book of Memory

Mr. George Marshall

Mr. Jerry Petosky


In-Kind Supporters

Annoor Islamic Center

a/perture cinema

Ardmore United Methodist Church

Centenary United Methodist Church

City of Winston-Salem,

        Human Relations Commission

Community Arts Café

The Community Mosque

Concentrics Communications, Inc.

Green Street United Methodist Church

Hindu Temple of the Triad

Home Moravian Church

Knollwood Baptist Church

Masjid al-Mu’minun

Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church

The Shepherd’s Center of

        Greater Winston-Salem

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

Strong & Associates, CPA

Temple Emanuel, Winston-Salem

Wake Forest University Chaplain’s Office