This post is perhaps a bit delayed, as classes here at UIndy have been going for about two weeks strong at this point, but I digress; Happy New School Year, everyone! We of the Interfaith Forum are greatly looking forward to this year, and we have a lot of exciting events planned for it, so be on the lookout for information on them as the year progresses! For now, though, I’d like to use this post as an opportunity to introduce you to our leadership team for this year, who, along with your support and participation, hope to assist in creating fellowship and unity in service for people of all faith backgrounds. So, without further adieu, here’s our leadership team for the year:
Mark Wolfe- Mark, a Junior Religion and Philosophy major, is also the founder of the Interfaith Forum and our dedicated, charismatic leader. He possesses an extraordinary passion for service, as well as an unwavering commitment to fostering equity for people of all backgrounds and religious affiliations. His interest in interfaith issues was sparked by an incident in which a Sikh temple near his home was vandalized by local residents in a fit of misplaced post-9/11 vengeance. Since that encounter, Mark has worked tirelessly to help bring about a world in which such things would no longer occur, a re-imagined realm in which vitality overcomes violence, equality overcomes iniquity, service overcomes selfishness, and love overcomes hate, a world where all people can truly triumph in the knowledge that we are all interconnected in this world, and that we are better together.
Sam Thomas- Sam, a Junior Biology and Chemistry major with a Pre-Med concentration, is, along with Mark, one of the two returning interfaith leaders. If Mark Wolfe is the fire that kindles the Interfaith Forum, then Sam is the pit, ensuring that he remains grounded and realistic in his aspirations. Additionally, she possesses an innate sense of our needs in relation to our vision, and often acts as the pragmatic voice of reason and organizational clarity in times when decisions must be made. In doing so, Sam is also a primary factor in making sure that necessary business is addressed, and that we remain in line with our mission at all times.
Jess Leaman- Jess is a Sophomore Sociology major and in many ways, the creative side of the Interfaith Forum. Whether it be through her enviable drawing abilities or imaginative activity planning, Jess always manages to find a way to make Interfaith events enjoyable and exciting. To say that this is her most defining trait, however, would be selling her short, for she also has an intense passion for service, manifesting itself in her devotion to several causes, including thirst, hunger, and social justice. This dichotomy has made Jess an extraordinarily valuable addition to our executive team.
Kenny Albee- Last but not least, Kenny is (or, perhaps more appropriately, I am) a Junior Supply Chain Management major, and, as the parenthesized comment above implied, the dedicated Interfaith Forum blogger for the year. In terms of our leadership team, I am most notably the most actively humorous of the group, steadfast in my belief that life, in spite of its myriad complexities and iniquities, is at its core meant to be a lighthearted affair. While my humor is often a great asset to the Forum, I admittedly must sometimes rely on the others to keep it toned down when in the midst of more serious discussions. I am also notable in that I am the only executive who was not raised as a practicing Christian (or practicing anything, at that), and therefore often bring a unique viewpoint to our discussions. I now would describe myself, however, as a practicing Christian in the beginning stages of becoming Roman Catholic. I plan on writing some entries in this blog about my faith journey, and what has brought me to my current spiritual state, with respect to how such a journey ties into the interfaith paradigm. I will also post articles and opinions on interfaith issues and current events, as well as promote and discuss our organization’s activities. So stay tuned for a great year for Interfaith Forum, and a great year for being Better Together!