The Interfaith Center of Little Rock, part of the Institute for Theological Studies at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, has been a place where people of different faiths can come together to find common ground and to develop a deeper understanding of each other. Their stated mission is to reduce the hatred and fear among the world religions. Rev. Susan Sims Smith, an Episcopal priest, started the Center in 2011 and partnered with Sophia Said, a Muslim, to create programming, service initiatives, and interfaith prayer events that engage below from a variety of faith backgrounds.
Last fall, the Interfaith Friendship Children’s Choir was formed as an outgrowth of the Interfaith Friendship Camp. Mary Ibis, conductor of the group of singers comprised of second through sixth graders, chooses repertoire from different faith traditions that cultivates a deeper understanding of different faiths and celebrates the common ground they all share. The current group of about 20 singers come from Jewish, Christian, Muslim and Buddhist faith traditions. "I watched my son become friends with a boy from the temple he might not otherwise ever had the opportunity to become friends with, because they don't go to school together or worship at the same place," Ibis said in a recent interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "Yet they are having these conversations. Establishing these lines of communication among kids who respect their faith and the faith of others - I don't know what more you could hope for."
Children of all faiths are welcome to join. Learn more about the choir by watching this news story by THV11.